Chemical changes within our bodies affect the way we think, the way we function physically and emotionally. These chemical changes are responses to what we ingest both as food, fluids and other substances, but also as data in the form of sensory feedback.

Our bodies are constantly working to maintain physical and mental equilibrium, to ‘filter out’ damaging substances and data, allowing us to navigate through life as un-scathed as possible.

Given that you are here to learn how to create positive change in your mind and body, here is my prescription of TEN TIPS for forcing some of those changes to happen.

1. Write a list of all those things you’ve done before and you’d like to try again and all those things you haven’t yet done, but would like to. Once you have your list, edit it to exclude those which are impossible for you to realise like bungee jumping or a trek through Kathmandu for example. Leave those things in that are financially and practically viable. Once you have your list, get your diary and enter, at least, one a week into your schedule and stick to it… you never know, you might discover your true passion, but at very least, you’ll have lots of new experiences. Involve your partner and/or family if you wish.

2. On waking, every morning, do a series of stretching exercises, you can find some example in my Ultimate Guide to Anxiety ebook available free here: activates a number of bodily systems including circulation, respiration, the limbic system that regulates hormones and also aids with digestion… the advantages are limitless.

3. STOP acting your age. Just because your body’s 35 doesn’t mean your brain has to be too. You and every other human on earth carries a small child with them and the only difference between your current self and that child is that you have been smothered by social conditioning and responsibilities. It’s OK to drop your guard and enjoy life as you used to as a small child. So many people take time out to ‘play’ again… paintballing, go-karting, college courses, dancing, cycling, climbing, fishing… all those things you loved as a child, don’t have to be things of the past… sometimes a smell uncovers a distant memory and ignites a flame of happiness in us… fan the flames and find time to find the child inside of you.

4. Laughter releases feel good hormones which can have a dramatic affect on how we feel about every aspect of our lives. The pleasure responses interact with, pretty much, every bodily system we possess and taking a dose of laughter can make even the saddest and most stressful periods much less impactful. Get some comedy DVDs, read a funny book, visit a comedy venue, but make sure you take your dose of laughter at regular intervals and you will start to benefit from the strong therapeutic affects it can bring.

5. Clear out the crap – Literally, if you haven’t worn or used it for 6 months… bin it or give it away. Having an attic full of junk is like wearing 6 layers of clothes, despite the fact that you are not constantly consciously aware of its presence… your subconscious knows it’s there, weighing down on your shoulders. Having a damn good clear-out is so very cathartic that you can even hire people to help you to maximise the experience and minimise life’s rubble… I don’t suggest hiring a specialist, but I do recommend hiring a skip!

6. Sport isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but it doesn’t have to involve getting sweaty and shaking knees. Less physical sports like snooker, darts, walking, cricket, table tennis, swimming, sailing and badminton, for example can provide intellectual ‘food’ and movement without tiring you out. You can take most of these sports at your own pace and enjoy them at any level They also bring team spirit, social activity, human interaction and a sense of fulfilment when you have mastered them. Plus, they can create a generous surge of feel-good hormones!

7. Have you ever considered why some photographers earn millions? It’s because it’s hard to do CORRECTLY. Anyone can point and shoot, but the technical and creative aspects of photography have to come together to produce beauty in such a small area. Photography utilises your intellect to produce the correct exposure and aperture and your creative mind to make sure that what fits inside the viewfinder leaves critics breathless! Photography is challenging and fulfilling, plus you end up with a load of great shots to use on your new photo-wall.

8. Look don’t see. There is a difference! Seeing is what we do in order to avoid obstacles, looking is what we do in order to assess. An assessment is made in order to gain in depth knowledge about something; only by looking at something can you gain intimate knowledge about its true nature. Our mind filters useful from useless information in order to save data storage space in the brain but this has the affect of creating very superficial experiences as we pass through life, unless we force ourselves to really SEE. Seeing beauty around us isn’t about being fed data by media, it’s about opening the sensory pathways to your pleasure centres in the brain and using the world as a pool of beautiful experiences to dip into. Next time you visit a park, don’t just see a tree, a flower or plant, walk up to it, examine its structure, it’s colour and texture and see how your mind allows you to become more intimate with everything around you… capture that beauty with photography if you like, the payback is wonderful.

9. Do something you would never usually do. Take a leap of faith, go skinny-dipping, book a skiing holiday, go to a naturist resort… it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, just do it. Let your fears and inhibitions drop, let convention go, take a risk; clothes, social etiquette, conditioning, laws, rules and expectations are all there to be manipulated and the pay off can be some naughty but nice fun that sparks a sense of adventure and activates the pleasure centres in the brain. Risk taking can pay off with huge amounts of satisfaction and pleasure to be gained from stepping outside of your normal, expected comfy zone… involve your partner or family if you wish.

10. Work life balance. Here is my seven-step work/life balance programme.

1. Make a list of all you have to do in a week.
2. Divide list into three categories – work, free time, general.
3. General is the stuff you have to do that isn’t urgent like filing, dentist visits, MOT the car etc.
4. Take your diary and enter ½ day a week for your general items. Add your work time to the diary. Enter AT LEAST 1 day a week of free time.
5. In order of importance, do all of your general tasks each week. Try to keep to the weekly structure but build in SOME flexibility for when plans change.
6. As you do each task… strike it through.
7. Make sure that your general tasks are completed within the week, that your work hours don’t dominate your life to such an extent as to be detrimental and make sure you enjoy every moment of your free time by planning interesting activities within that time.

Putting a spring in your step isn’t about waiting for something good to happen to you… it’s about making good things happen.

To speak to one of our life coaches or counsellors about any issues that negatively affect you, like stress or anxiety, for example, contact my team.

Charles Linden

Author's Bio: 

Apart from providing support and counselling to anxiety sufferers through 'The Linden Method', I also work in private practice with anxiety disorder sufferers through The Linden Centers.

My 'Method' took seven years to develop and is now, not only, becoming recognised as THE drug free solution to anxiety disorders by government bodies, but is also receiving referrals from psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, health authorities, insurance companies and other organisations from around the world.

I am also a regular contributor to printed publications such as Natural Health, Women, Women's Own, Pick Me Up,, Top Santé, OK magazine and anxiety disorder websites. I contribute to BBC radio and I am also chairman of the International Association of Anxiety Management.

For more information, visit: