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Let's Talk - Angie Giles Blog 

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Angie Giles blog

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National Sickie Day: let's break the stigma on mental health! 

6 Feb​ 2023​​ - Angie Giles

National sickie day wellbeing and engagement coaching

Have you heard of 'National Sickie Day'? Why should you care, as an employer or an employee?

The first Monday in February is recognised as when many people seem to take the most sick days. It costs the economy millions historically in lost productivity and revenue. But what about the reasons behind this and the cost to employee health and well-being?

Many people when asked about what was really happening on a day they took a 'sickie', in a 2014 survey, cited 'food poisoning' or a 'cold' for example, but actually many said they were feeling emotionally off-kilter. They were tired, or were not in a good place emotionally, for work. Feeling like they had to state something 'physical' rather than admit to mental health being at cause continues to show stigma in areas of life and in organisations. I think honesty and 'It's okay to not be okay' conversations benefit all. An employer is comfortable saying 'right your back hurts, ok let's look at what we can do to support that?' How can they be on a similar level to supporting people through mental health challenges? Having open conversations that recognise mental health can hugely benefit organisations and build employee trust.

I'd hope that more organisations recognise the positive impact they can have on supporting employee mental health by not penalising staff for a sickie when it may well be due to a mental health absence.

Respecting an individuals privacy, as well as their needs, having open and honest (confidential) conversations to understand any outside pressures is important. As is including company /management action to support that. Some examples for employers to make include adjustments:

  • Allowing working from home or flexible working if some of the cause of stress maybe childcare or other outside 'family /caring' pressures. (You are entitled to ask for adjustments to working hours if you have children under school age)
  • Human Resources training and support for assisting employees 
  • Make 'health and well-being' a general regular management/ leadership activity. How about a weekly 'check-in?' Informally, or other, to ensure staff feel heard.
  • Having social events (online or in person) or forums where talking through issues with others can become the norm.
  • Make sure Employee Assistance Options are made clear to an employee and that these programmes are not stigmatised.
  • Well-being workshops where mental health is at the forefront and 'where to go' pointers exist for colleagues in need. Could be Peer-led, eg with a trained Mental Health First Aider, or bring in someone like me, who understands the practical 'how to' of everyday mental health support. (Happy to help if you want me to facilitate a mini well-being workshop, link here:

Many organisations are increasingly aware that seeing someone regularly throwing a 'sickie' can highlight issues where changes to support an employee may be needed. Or finding out more background to 'why' a pattern of sickness is happening. Could it be connected to a bullying situation at work? Do you care what's going on for your employees? You should. Employees are seeking out and moving to 'employers that care'. The last few years following the pandemic have sped that process up even more. 

A perfect example of an adjustment to show 'care' for employees well-being is a drinks company in the U.K. Very recently they added 'compassionate paid support' days for staff going through fertility treatment.

I can't state enough the pressure and emotions people going through that highly stressful and invasive process are under. They would otherwise have to use up their valuable holiday leave. It's that kind of support and compassion that matters to employees and equally builds engagement and trust in an employer/ employee relationship. What can you do to help keep the positive mental health conversation going?

For more information on increasing wellbeing in yourself or for your teams, get in touch. The link to my contact page is here. 

Angie Giles

Therapeutic counsellor, Resilience Coaching and Hypnotherapy  

#nationalsickieday #sickie #wellbeing #wellbeingworkshops #anxiety #stress #depression #autism #organisationalwellbeing #supportemployees #honestconversation #trust #mentalhealth #stressmanagement #peoplemanagement #employeeengagement #coaching 

image of old Japanese ceramic vase fixed with gold and enamel, known as the art of Kintsugi
Angie Giles blog

kintsugi example on broken japanese teacup fixed with gold enamel

The art of Kintsugi - bring the pieces together - for peace of mind  

1 Sept​ 2021​​ - Angie Giles

The art of Kintsugi might not be something you have heard of or ever thought of as a metaphor for finding positive, mental resilience in the face of difficulty? From Wikipedia; ‘Kintsugi is similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.’*

As a therapist and coach, encouraging an ability to cognitively switch attention towards taking charge of difficult or upsetting situations, is a helpful and positive option for any client’s toolkit of resilience. Taking control of mental habits, reducing seeing things as broken* or flawed, is cognitively positive. For the benefit of our mental state; developing a positive, outlook or purpose comes from an intentional switch of focus.

A good example of this mental shift is related to my partner (and his van). How he went beyond a ‘broken thinking’ state of mind. I have to go back a bit to explain this. He bought his first personal use vehicle after over 15 years of ‘private use’ of his work van came to an end on his existing work contract, as an engineer. He always looked after his van, which even his boss had noted! 

After much deliberation on the wants and needs he had, the main consideration was a vehicle to take us off to various trips with our bikes on board. He found and bought a VW Caddy van. He was happy. Remember your first vehicle? I watched him fall for that van. Much time and care went into it. He had it lowered, new alloys added, treated paintwork and all sorts of other tweaks, including cruise control and LED lights.

Things went wrong when...

This year the van went out of warranty with the dealership. He decided that his perfect van might go to an independent local garage for a major service and MOT instead of the main dealer. Also, to a national tyre place to have new tyres fitted, etc. What happened next was a catalogue of issues all within three weeks. The first was the alloys got damaged by the tyre place and, at some point, the vehicle had been dented on its roof (noted from our upstairs window), post these two visits. Then whilst out on the road, a planned cycle trip, one of the injectors failed, leaving us stranded at the side of a busy dual carriageway for 4 hours.

He was initially gutted by all these events happening one after the other. His beloved vehicle was damaged. Feeling despondent, he started to look at other vehicle options online for about 2 days. Then positive things happened: the cognitive switch began. The tyre place contacted him and was apologetic and sorted the damage done to the alloys. The fairly small dent and paintwork are on a to-do list for fixing and the injectors have been replaced. Now his mindset shifted to using the van to get us out cycling on our week off. 

What happened when he switched his mind to another viewpoint?

He switched from feelings of disappointment to recognising a still useful vehicle holding fond memories and great experiences for us with trips away. It’s taken that pressure off him being as ‘precious’ with it as he was before all this. He now anticipates using it for many more fun life experiences together. I’d call that Kintsugi, wouldn’t you?

Some suggestions for gathering a broken pieces situation into 'peace of mind':

Take a break at least temporarily. Start redirecting your attention after that.

Ask what is it that matters to you least that things turned out this way?

What opportunity, however distant, does that change in situation give you?

Will this matter one year from now? What else might/can happen instead?

How different will you feel when you let go of anger/ hurt/ disappointment about it and embrace the positive change?

Angie Giles

Therapeutic counsellor, Resilience Coaching and Hypnotherapy  

#therapy #counsellor #kintsugi #attention #mindset #counselling #cognitiveswitch #change #attitude #loss #positive #outlook #resilient #cognitive #coaching #resilience #anxiety #depression #challenges #notbroken

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Angie Giles Blog

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Angie Giles Blog

Farther away - Fathers day 

21 June 2020

Do you feel like celebrating?

So, here it is, Father's Day. One of those special days serving the gift industry. 

I'm all for fun, appreciation and giving. It may well be a wonderful day to celebrate.

But, what if it's not fun and hauls up uncomfortable feelings to the surface? It might be a day you want to ignore completely or feel angry about because it brings up emotions that are unsettling.

Perhaps you are in a situation where you are experiencing infertility and desperately want children.

What if your father is very ill and you can't see him?

It could be your dad is ill with dementia and you long for the relationship you had and lost due to his illness. Maybe you’ve lost a wonderful father, so you are grieving, or lost someone you thought of as a father.

Or you’re a father who’s lost a child.

'That missing card or celebration is a painful reminder of loss'.

Or you are estranged from your dad, never knew him, or he's in prison or ’somewhere out there’. Alternatively, issues from years ago are keeping you apart from your father, or addiction has stopped him from being there for you.

Maybe you can't forgive him and his deeds. That may complicate how you feel about a day of celebration and thanks for dads.

It's ok to not feel ok on this subject. Loss of any kind hurts. You have a right to your feelings.

Others may not have experienced significant loss and that means they have yet to understand things from a diverse point of view. Let them have their day of celebrating the dads, step-dads granddads and step-granddads out there.

A word of advice for the day if you are feeling emotional;

  • Do accept the emotion and feelings of loss. It's natural and will pass.
  • Write down your feelings. It's surprising how freeing that can be. You can also arrange to speak to a therapist. Someone outside your family, someone like me.
  • Find yourself something positive to do AND re-focus your mind on investing in the relationships you ’DO’ have in your life.
  • Create your own kind of celebration. Tomorrow is a new day.


#therapy #counsellor #FathersDay #healing #counselling #father #daughter #son #bereavement #loss #absentFather #Dads

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‘All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection’              

- Alice Miller 

Listen to your body - It can speak for you 

5 June 2020

Trauma is an echo that sounds in the body.

It stops people from voicing their needs and their needs not being met.

It means power is outside of a persons' control. They might have feelings of being powerless, feeling frustrated that they can't seem to make themselves heard or accepting ‘going with the flow’ to keep the peace.

Acknowledging trauma being behind some issues in relationships is a brave step. That can mean seeing a therapist and for many people, that is a good idea. A counsellor can assist, confidentially, in recognising the echoes that are creating painful interpersonal relationships now. The counsellor can help you safely, and gradually, to let go of past hurts and move towards acceptance. Fear doesn't have to keep driving you into submission or old ways of being.

When finding yourself fed up of the way things are now, you can either get uncomfortably stuck, or start healing.

Standing up for yourself more is a good way to start a process of healing.

Saying 'no', in whatever way you can, to someone you may feel has been taking you for granted, is a powerful feeling.

If you can’t yet find your voice use your body language instead.

Here’s how:

  • Keep your head straight and not tipped (head held straight on implies more power) Females tend to tip their heads whilst listening and is seen as softer (ie weaker)
  • Here is an important one: looking someone in the eye. Avoid looking down or away from them when you are speaking or interacting.
  • Have a go at getting firmly in your body. Start by standing up straight, breathing deeply a few times, feeling centred over your feet, letting your hands hang loosely at your sides and if you need to, add gestures to make a point. Your body is doing the speaking for you.

Feel the power coming back into your body and the echo of painful memories fading.

#therapy #counsellor #trauma #healing #bodylanguage #power

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A red heart being held in hands
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The healthy habit quest - The Coach that knows!

2 June 2020

As a follow up to my posts on the cold water and breath-work healthy habit quest, introducing Jackie Trenavin, The Mindful Body Coach. @mindfulbodycoach on instagram and website:  

I asked Jackie for advice and knowledge for those seeking to follow this quest, whether for health reasons, or improving their ability as an athlete. Here's what she said.

💙What are the benefits of cold water activities as a coach?

The science bit...on immersion into cold water there is an immediate rise in cortisol levels (the flight or fight hormone) which is produced by your autonomic nervous system. This rise, in turn, results in a reduction of something called 'inflammatory proteins'. Inflammation caused by these pesky proteins is linked with many conditions such as autoimmune diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis. It has also more recently been linked to depression.

As for the physical and mental benefits consciously experienced of cold water there is immediately a rush of euphoria lasting long after you leave the water; a feeling of achievement having challenged yourself, which supports positive mental health and a feeling of being physically 'alive!' For those that suffer with chronic autoimmune disease the physical effects can be nothing short of astonishing with range of movement returned for the immediate period post immersion, effects lasting up to twelve hours.

Who can take up the activity?

Anyone at all can do this, of any age although those with heart conditions, high or low blood pressure or pregnant should consult their doctor.

What do you do to encourage tri-athletes to do regarding breath work?

When in the water the single most important thing to do is breathe OUT! Many (most) on first getting in tend to take short in breaths (as you are anxious and the cold can be shocking) and forget to expel the air fully. The result is that you will feel light headed after a couple of minutes, this can cause panic. If this is the case, remain calm and turn onto your back, look up at the sky and think 'breathe OUT'. The feeling will pass after a minute or two and remember this happens to lots of people, you're in good company!

More generally in terms of breath work out of the water I personally practice the Wim Hof method daily.

🥇Is it a useful method for runners (park or ultra) too?

I would have to say it's useful for everyone especially post-run or exercise. 

Ice baths have been used for decades as a post-sport therapy to reduce inflammation and encourage muscle recovery.

🕰Does it get any easier over time?

Yes it does. Start small and build on it. Start in the shower for a few moments and build that up to a minute and then more. You can even take the temperature down slowly to start with. Remember to breathe out.

If you are outside in a body of water the same thing applies. Short and sweet. Start in the summer (although I didn't) if you can and start with a minute or two in the water.

A few important thing to remember is not to stay in until you feel 'shivery'. The body will continue to lose heat for about 20 minutes after you exit the water. Warm up naturally, with clothes, sunshine and a warm drink. Do not take a hot shower or bath immediately after to warm up. Doing so tricks your body into thinking you're actually hot so begins to cool you further.

Also most importantly, if you are going to be swimming in the open water, make sure you swim in a safe place with lifeguards on site and don't ever swim alone. If possible swim with people more experienced than you (I do!) who know the water or in organised groups. The sea and rivers can be incredibly deceptive. They look calm and tranquil but the currents and tides are invisible until you're in them. Additionally there can be hidden objects under the water. Overall be safe. Be over cautious.

Useful Links

Where to swim in the U.K.


For groups and locations in Norfolk and Suffolk go to Norfolk and Suffolk Outdoor Swimming Society Facebook group.

For information about Wim Hof Method visit his website or download the app (which is very good)

For some useful safety information visit the Broads Authority website

For organised swims with tri-athlon look no further than tri-Anglia who swim at Whittlingham (currently closed due to Covid 19). These are predominantly wetsuit swims.

Thank you very much Jackie for your answers! 

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Angie Giles wearing bicycle helmet near a field

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A red heart being held in hands

The healthy habit quest - Part 2 - Arctic Assessment

1 June 2020

💙Day 1 - Tuesday, week 1: 

This is the first day I decided to start my cold showers and breath-work challenge.  I didn't tell anyone specifically what I was doing other than a general idea that I was on a quest for 'healthy habits'. 

I follow the Wim Hof method approach loosely linking breath-work and cold water immersion. As mentioned in part 1, I'm not so keen on cold water. However, here goes!  

I start with preparatory breathing. I'm laying on my back on the living room floor in my dressing gown. I want to check diaphragmatic breathing, into my belly. Lots of breaths, I think I get to about 20. I wait a minute before getting up, then I undress and straight into the shower. 

Ok, so it's not cold water entirely. It's cooler than normal. I breathe out steadily, clutching my torso and stand under this. I bear about 15-20 seconds and I switch to warm water. Breathing steadily. I hold my breath and manage a further cool blast, breathing out again. I turn back to warm.   

 How do I feel and what happened?

I feel awake and alert. I complete a long bike ride with headwinds, although I'm not faster overall, I needed more stamina to deal with the head-winds. A good mental state prevails. 

🔍Day 2 - Wednesday, week 1: 

 I follow the breath work and shower routine as before. Once sagain I switch from cooler to warmer, several times. I think this works for me. 

 How do I feel and what happened?

I'm completing urgent tasks for business and activity in a networking support group. I'm focused and able to complete what I need to. I do not ride or walk other than to grocery shop. I'm in a positive, reflective mood, especially once the urgent task is done. Relief!  

💧Day 3 - Thursday, week 1: 

Same routine for breathing. I'm trialling warmer shower water first then cooler after. I'm unsure. Again I switch from warm to cool, several times. I'm a bit half-hearted with the cold water today to be quite honest.   

Today more work-based activity and no cycling. 

 How do I feel and what happened?

I'm feeling OK mood-wise. I go for a 1.5-mile walk to stretch my legs in between business activity and that helps lift my mood further.    

💦Day 4 -  Friday, week 1:

Same routine with breath-work followed by a shower. This time I am quickly washing first in warm water, then I step away from the water for a while, doing diaphragm breathing as a 'top-up'. I have no idea whether this is correct, I'm just going for it as I know I'm about to go to cold water. I turn the cold on and manage to stay in virtually no added warm water for about 40 seconds. This is a difference. Am I becoming more tolerant to the cold water?


 How do I feel and what happened?

I am in an OK mood. I am able to complete most of what I set out to do. In the middle of a pandemic, I can't do normal and what is normal anyway?!

🙈Day 5 - Saturday, week 1:

Forgot to take as long on the breath-work preparation, because of rushing to get out, although wanting more of a habit in my weekly routine, I take 10 diaphragm breaths before getting near the shower. A short burst of cool first, washing in the cool water distracted me somewhat from the chill. I then warm water wash the rest of my body, before getting out. 

 How do I feel and what happened? 

I am OK mood-wise, though a bit tired. I am awake and up early to get to the shops and avoid crowds, which is good because of social-distancing though not my preference, normally. 

💥Day 6 - Sunday, week 1:

I do a few breaths before getting into the bathroom ready to shower. Not nearly enough though. I managed to stay under just the cold tap for about 20 seconds. It wasn't too bad. I'm enjoying switching to warm water. 

I'm biking with my fast-paced partner today. During the ride, I am doing well and I'm conscious of where I am directing the bike although I can't avoid some tree roots on a steep slope. Falling heavily, bruising my right knee and scraping my left arm. 

 How do I feel and what happened? 

Mentally OK. Physically hurting after the bike crash! My knee is painful and swollen and I cycle home in discomfort. This provides me with new momentum to stick to my breath work/ cold shower healthy habit quest.

I need to get myself fit because we are planning a bike ride to my favourite forest at the weekend, which we have both longed-for since lockdown! 

  ⭐︎Day 7 - Monday, week 1:

After the fall I'm now highly motivated for this quest. I must get the knee swelling down. I apply arnica cream and also menthol gel every day for the following week around my knee and to bring the bruising out. I believe cold-water will help with reducing inflammation. So I am going for it today! Actively allowing more cold time and letting my legs and knees get extra cold too. I'm enjoying the process more.

  How do I feel and what happened?

I'm determined to get myself healed as soon as possible. I'm feeling super-motivated and can see the benefits of this quest clearly in my longed-for weekend bike ride!  Mentally I feel good.   

 ⏰Day 1 - Tuesday, week 2:

I treat this as a rest day, working at home and nursing my injury with the topical creams, elevation, rest and... yes, cold showers. The motivation stays with me. I am allowing more cold time so getting used to the feeling.


 How do I feel and what happened?

I'll say 'a euphoric feeling from freezing my @ss off in the shower'! I have bumpy raised skin on my hands for a few minutes after I complete the shower. I'm pretty happy that I managed this and my mood is good.  

❄️Day 2 - Wednesday: week 2:

I resolve to apply cold water to all of my body, including a cold rinse of my head at the end of washing my hair; Brr. I noticed my hip ached after yesterday, so I add extra time to my back and legs in the cold water. That was easier than I thought.

 How do I feel and what happened?

Again I feel a slight sense of euphoria post-shower. I do a 1-mile walk today. I am feeling pleased that although my kneecap is sore and a bit swollen I can walk on it. My mood is good. 

☃️Day 3 - Thursday, week 2:

Cold-water is now my friend! I am becoming more accepting that it is healing me. I'm making time to prepare for breath-work too. I am a bit sore in my hip/ bottom. I make sure that the cold water focuses on area of slight soreness. It definitely eases the pain and increases my endurance on a planned bike ride today.


 How do I feel and what happened? 

 I'm happy to be healing.  During the bike ride, I received 10 Strava app achievements. Surprising me as I didn't think I was that fast-paced.  

One achievement was a top-10: sixth place overall, for all women, out of 86 who use the app for a section that is just under a mile. That was quite an achievement. Also. I got 2 personal-best times. One was on a 2 mile part of the cycle route and one on a three-quarter-mile stretch.  Very happy! 

🤔Day 4 - Friday, week 2: 

Following breath-work and cold shower routine now. 

No cycling today. Rest day. 

 How do I feel and what happened?

Woke up and in a reasonably good mood.  

💧Day 5 - Saturday, week 2: 

Following breath-work and cold shower routine. A trip to supermarket today and no cycling, taking this as a rest day.

 How do I feel and what happened?

Early wake up, so set alarm to give me enough time for the breath-work and cold shower. I can't yet comfortably kneel on my knee but the mobility and discomfort have reduced considerably. I'm feeling positive. 


🚲Day 6 - Sunday, week 2:

16.5-mile bike ride at a Forest Trail. 30 Strava app achievements, including 11 personal-best times! This is quite something in that it was two years ago when I first set some of the original times.

 How do I feel and what happened?

Delighted at the improvement in my times and my fitness. I'm tired and happy after a lovely day of cycling. 

Day 7 - Mon, week 2:

16-mile ride (4 personal-best times on the Strava app)

 How do I feel and what happened?

Delighted at the ride. I'm tired and happy after a lovely day of cycling. 

I've listed week 3, as continued cold water shower and breath-work: 

 Day 1 - Tuesday, week 3:  rest day

 Day 2 - Wednesday, week 3: rest day

 Day 3 - Thursday, week 3:

 14.5-mile ride (2 personal-best times on the Strava app)

 Day 4 - Friday, week 3: rest day

 Day 5 - Saturday, week 3: rest day


 Day 6 Sunday: week 3: 

25.5-mile (2 personal-best sections and three top ten all-time ladies Strava app achievements!).  I was feeling tired towards the second half of the ride. I hadn't expected we would go quite so far. It was a warm day too.  My partner thought I was slower than the previous rides on day 6 and 7 of week 2, but it doesn't matter. I was pleased and the unexpected Strava app 'top tens' rewarded enough, along with my meditative ride. 

❤️Is this a healthy habit for life?

The answer is, yes, I will continue for as long as I can with this new healthy habit. In winter times I suspect I will stop, though the benefits in my fitness and in my stamina are superb and I want to maintain that. My moods stayed mostly consistent too. I am not a depressed person though had a few worries during this time, although I also meditate as a regular activity. 

Let me know if you decide to give the Wim Hof method a go yourself! 


cold water healthy habit challenge

The Healthy Habit Quest

- following the Wim Hof Method 

The healthy habit quest - Part 1

27 May 2020

I started a healthy habit quest for myself on the 18th May.  

I chose to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to suggestions I make to clients.  This Quest was to last at least a week: Cold showers and breathwork 

I’d seen Madonna on Instagram recovering from injury using ice baths.  Seeing that jogged a memory of a few things I’d read about cold immersion and physical benefits. I’d also heard of mood improvements including those doing outdoor swimming. (Something I’ve tried at the coast but only in late summer)

I’m not that keen on cold water or showers to be fair... I went to a state boarding school and on birthdays dormitory mates would likely fill a cold bath (it’s what we had in the boarding houses) and dump you in it. For fun. ❄️🤦🏻‍♀️ It’s not a pleasant memory.  A right of passage though!

My habit quest to see what effects cold water showering would have on my mood and energy/ fitness for at least a week. 

I read up on how I might go about this and what to do with dealing with my body’s over-reaction to cold water. 

I encourage clients in taking small steps to the gradual healing of upset, anxiety, depression and self-destructive behaviours. A habit is not formed overnight. Especially one that seems hard at first, so requiring commitment. The idea of cold showers is 'hard' to imagine as pleasant so a good challenge.

I’m a fan of breathing techniques including yoga breathwork as a means to improve mental and physical states. I talk to clients with anxiety about how a breathing focus can help with calming their body down which then releases stress. However, I’d not used the method proposed by Wim Hof, AKA the Iceman. To give context, he ran up Everest without a shirt and wearing no shoes. Hardcore!

His ideas as an extreme sportsman link to a healthy mind and body. He believes that you can learn to avoid running from pain, the cold and face your fears and overcome low mood. As it’s summertime I thought I might give this a go. The Wim Hof method site has given access to a free 25-minute mini-class online, teaching the three pillars: breathing, cold showers and commitment.

Here’s the basic idea of breathing technique and you really need to watch the video;

  • While sitting in a comfortable place, take 30 quick, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, take a deep breath and exhale; hold until you need to breathe in. Inhale again, as deep as you can, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as you like.

Combined with repeated exposure to the cold, Wim Hof claims his method leads to tangible health benefits: ‘more energy, lowered stress levels and an improved immune system’.

So, you want to know how I got on? Part 2 will document the most interesting findings. 

Let's Talk - Angie Giles Blog 

Find out more....

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New mindset - away from fear

7 May 2020

 Someone I respect who helped me on my journey a long time ago towards becoming a therapist once explained to me that curiosity is what gets you moving away from the past and toward your future (well maybe not exactly what they said, though it was along those lines). Curiosity and a strong desire to see what might be possible can be the key to unlocking someone's potential.

Irrational fears.

If you're afraid of insects for example, it could be you did not have the joyful experience of being encouraged to love butterflies and all the other insects around you. Perhaps a wasp sting as a toddler put you off as your curiosity was without any fear at the time. What if that insect fear had developed into an irrational fear that stops you from enjoying time outside in the fresh air, though? If you are still fearful of insects, consider how amazing it would be to be free of that irrational fear? What would it be like for those who have seen how scared you were now hearing and seeing you be fear-free? How liberating! I used to dislike moths, I can have them flying above my head without the irrational part of my brain kicking in and own a framed painted illustration of a moth. 

What about fear of an uncertain career or life path? 

When facing tough times of potentially redundancy or personal upheaval, the necessity of keeping a roof over your head and regular commitments might push you towards feeling scared. That can lead to paralysing inactivity by an activated central nervous system keeping you held in the confines of fear. The side effect of this is delays in making decisions or making a hasty decision that you later regret. 

Breathe into the next part of your journey.

Instead, what if you were able to take a breath (literally and metaphorically) and take a different view of the situation? To acknowledge the fear yet float above it and feel differently. Perhaps viewing it as the time to make a new start and see how it flows into the next exciting part of your journey. It can be done with joyful curiosity! 

Redundancy enabled me to take on a change in my lifestyle and alter the course of my career. Why let fear rule you when a change may bring better opportunities in the long-run?  

Whether you are facing an uncertain future, or you have been held back by fear of something, there's always a time to develop curiosity to make a change, and if you want, to get the help you may need to do it. I encourage you to be brave and stop fear holding you back. 

I support people with personal/ career coaching as well as counselling and hypnotherapy options (if needed). Get in touch and lets get a plan in place?  

#mindset #fears #challenges #redundancy #jobsearch  #overcomingobstacles #attitude #life #coaching #counselling #norwich


A wonderful world of change: In Therapy

22 April 2020

Change is a wonderful, powerful, mind-opening and sometimes scary thing! 

'Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away

But something in our minds will always stay'

(Lyrics of the song 'Fragile' by Sting)

If you have ever tried to change yourself, you might understand it takes courage to make even small changes happen. We tend to stick to what we know already. So it's a leap of faith into new ways of doing things. Of accepting perhaps some things, and people, won't or can't change. It might be how you react to things is what needs to change but hard to make that happen. 

The same old issues keep coming up time after time? You wonder if you are broken.   

 'Lest we forget how fragile we are' 

(lyrics of the song '​Fragile' by Sting)  

Yes, we are all fragile at times. That is not something to be fearful of. It is when you know this, you're more than ready to start therapy. Considering past issues and/or strengthening your ability to deal with future challenges.  

Is there a 'right time' to see a Counsellor/ Therapist?

There's no right or a wrong time to seek help. It all depends on you as an individual and if you are open to the idea. There's no pressure to continue therapy if you don't want to.  


What is it like seeing me as your Counsellor/Therapist?

It might feel odd, at first as you are talking to a stranger. Although you may feel a bit unsure about where to start, don't worry. I am a warm and receptive person. I will not make you tell me 'everything' at once though often people get carried away once started.  

So, I suggest, take your time and go at your pace. Therapy is not a racetrack to zoom along. Some people do find they are able to make changes rapidly, depending on the issue. I'll do my best to give you some expectations when we speak.


Thinking about what needs to change for me recently has made me remember some of the things I started out thinking and believing.  There's been a lot to learn and I've changed a lot in myself.  I'm re-evaluating the things I do.  

And...I'm remembering wonderful people I have met on my journey in my life. Great therapy teachers. Great Coaches. Great friends. Not all of them are here now. Not all of them will be here in the future. All I know is that knowing what makes us fragile, makes us better human beings. No need to feel broken or lost. It is possible to rebuild ourselves and our dreams. One day at a time.  

Angie Giles 


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