A​ngie​ Giles 

Counselling, Hypnotherapy and Coaching, Norwich. 

Life changing. Empowering. Increase confidence, Lose weight, Stop phobias, Reduce anxiety, Stop smoking. 

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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. 

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 


#therapy #counselling #change #scary #yourownpace #norwich #counsellor

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four people holding corner of a parachute: instinctive reactions and self awareness

Angie Giles

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

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