NIMH » NIMH Expert Dr. Krystal Lewis Discusses Managing Stress & Anxiety


Transcript

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Hello, and happy new year. Thank you for joining us today. My name is Dr. Krystal Lewis. I’m a licensed clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health or NIMH, which is part of NIH, the National Institutes of Health. At NIH, I provide clinical services to youth who are participating in the pediatric anxiety study, and my research interests focus on identifying mechanisms of treatment such as self-efficacy and other factors which impact the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, which I’ll talk a little bit more about later on.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So with the new year upon us, it’s a good time to check in on ourselves. 2020 was challenging for many reasons. The continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest is still also very stressful for many of us. We know that everyone experiences stress from time to time, and it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions when you’re feeling stressed, such as anxiety or fear, anger, and even grief, especially during challenging times such as these. However, there are long-term stress impacts, so the more you experience stress for long periods of time, this can significantly impact our overall health. People who are diagnosed with anxiety disorders also may be experiencing a heightened level of anxiety. For those individuals, the anxiety tends to persist and does not go away. It’s often very distressing and interferes with daily functioning and can get worse over time if not treated.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So during the next half an hour together, I’m going to share some information about stress and anxiety. I’ll suggest some coping techniques for maintaining your mental health during this pandemic and discuss when it might be appropriate to get professional health. I’ll wrap up at the end with a brief guided meditation, and if there’s some time, I’ll take a few of your questions from the comments. It is important to note that I cannot provide specific medical advice or referrals. Please consult with a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment, and any answers to your personal questions. If you need help finding a provider, please visit www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, 8255. 1-800-273-8255. You can also ask for help in the comments section of this feed, and someone from NIMH will assist. All of the websites and phone numbers that I mentioned will be posted in the comments section below so that you can easily access them.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So to get started, let’s talk a little bit about stress and anxiety. It’s first important to distinguish between stress and anxiety. Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause such as having a lot of homework to do, having an illness, or experiencing difficulty paying your bills. A stressor might be a one-time or a short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time. Stress can have a positive or a negative effect on your behavior. For example, if you are stressed about meeting a deadline, it might actually cause you to get the work done so that you can meet that deadline. But the stress might also cause you to lose sleep or have difficulty sleeping because you’re stressed out about meeting that deadline. Different effects. Likewise, stress can be a result of positive or negative experiences. So starting a new job, that’s a positive stressor. It can be. But losing a job or getting fired, that’s a negative stressor.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Now, anxiety, anxiety is your body’s reaction to the stress and can occur even if there’s no current threat. So its origin is internal. Usually, anxiety involves a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread that seemingly may not go away. You might experience uncomfortable physical feelings that interfere with how you live your life. But both stress and anxiety can affect your mind and your body. You may experience such symptoms like excessive worry, feeling uneasy or having trouble relaxing, having tension in your body, or that might be headaches or muscle pain. Even physically it can affect you, and you might experience high blood pressure, or you might have difficulty sleeping. If stress or anxiety doesn’t go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and even your reproductive systems. You might also be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So with that said, we’re going to talk about some ways you might be able to cope with this stress or anxiety. It is necessary to have coping mechanisms in place. You want to avoid potentially harmful behaviors such as drinking alcohol, excessive news watching, overeating, isolating yourself, which can lead to poor hygiene. Keeping a routine is a key piece to maintaining some sense of normalcy. Eating properly, staying hydrated, exercising and moving around, and getting enough sleep are all very important. The first step to restoring a sense of calm is what I call disrupting anxiety. Once you’re aware of the anxiety, you can do certain things to disrupt the worrying and the anxious feelings that you experience. This means you can challenge anxious or irrational thoughts by reframing your worries and using previous example going back to that deadline for work. So you have a deadline, and you’re stressed about it. Instead of saying to yourself, “I should have already done this. They’ll think I’m incompetent. I can’t do anything right,” catch yourself. And once you catch yourself experiencing those unhelpful thoughts, you can say, “I’m doing the best that I can. No one is perfect. Sometimes things might be late right now, and that’s okay.” It can also be helpful to reach out to loved ones to vent or problem solve. And sometimes, it might be necessarily to employ calming or relaxation techniques, which I’ll discuss a little bit later.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Oftentimes, we, as parents, friends, or colleagues, may want to tell people with anxiety or those who seem stressed to just calm down. Things will be okay. However, we know that this is not an effective approach. We want to be the person who is able to provide a listening ear and perhaps impart more helpful suggestions after you learn a few things here today because, as noted, this is a tough time for us all right now. When thinking of parents, parents can help children deal with stress and anxiety by using some of the techniques I just mentioned and helping kids to focus what is in our control. As an example, worries about COVID-19 are common. However, what we can do is remind kids that there are certain things we can do in the situation such as wearing our mask, washing our hands, and engaging in social distancing. If there’s a family member who, unfortunately, has COVID, or a neighbor, we can write get well cards, or we can make food or drop food off for them. Having discussions with your children about the social unrest that’s occurred, when appropriate, explain to them how you’re keeping them safe and discuss things that the family can do. Oftentimes, when you feel stressed and anxious it’s because we don’t believe we can handle things. However, this is a reminder that we are stronger than we believe, and we can get through this. So we can engage in great practices to help manage feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Earlier last year, this acronym, GREAT, was developed as an easy reminder to engage in these helpful practices to manage stress and anxiety. G, G stands for grateful. Be grateful. Find small things each day to be grateful about. This might be when you wake up in the morning or in the evening before bed, thinking of, what are the small things throughout the day that you can express gratitude for, such as the bed that you’re about to fall asleep in or a nice meal that you’ve had earlier that day. R stands for relaxation. Practice relaxation. Do things that help you to calm down and relax. That might be different for each of you, but find ways to integrate that throughout your day. E stands for exercise. Engage in exercise, some type of activity. We know that physical health and mental health are tied together. We know that activity is important, so you try to implement that in your day. A stands for acknowledge. Acknowledge your feelings. Be aware of the many feelings, and accept them as they occur. Right now, things are very frustrating. You may be feeling angry at some of the things that we’re seeing on the news. We might feel anxious about our health and our family’s health. Whatever feelings that you are experiencing, know that it’s okay. Accept them, acknowledge them, and then make sure that you use one of these practices to help manage them. And lastly, T. T is for track your thinking. Track your thoughts and change them. Ensure that you are engaging in helpful thinking. We all have thoughts that, oftentimes, aren’t the most helpful. So if you pay attention to your thinking patterns, you can then engage in more helpful thinking.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So to build on that acronym of GREAT, I’m going to talk a little bit more about other strategies that may help promote resilience during these tough times right now. So change your expectations of daily productivity and accept that this is your norm right now. This is our norm. We have to acknowledge that we have different demands being at home than before maybe when we were in the office. We have to limit comparisons to friends or peers or colleagues who seemingly are living productive lives and have it all together. Remember that everyone may have different circumstances, and what people tell you and what you might see on social media often isn’t a comprehensive picture of what’s going on. So the comparisons aren’t very helpful. As noted earlier, focus on what is in your control. We don’t know when we’ll be able to safely return to work or when our kids are going to go back to school. Therefore, we need to attend to what we do have control over. Create schedules and deadlines, and remember that your expectations should be adjusted for this current time, and you may not be able to do everything that you would like to do and plan to do, but that’s okay. Acknowledge and validate your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your own physical and mental fatigue. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now, so work on accepting your feelings as they come. Practice self-compassion. You’re going to have some good days, and there may be some days that aren’t so bad, but that’s okay.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: What can be helpful is engaging in mini breaks throughout the day, which can help with you managing general stress and potentially even increasing your productivity by taking a break. Watch a funny show. Watch a funny clip on YouTube. You can engage in social media briefly. Call a loved one. Just take a minute to detach from the pressures of work and your expectations throughout the day. Give yourself a break, and that can help improve your overall mental health. Use relaxation strategies to help reduce your anxiety throughout the day. These include deep breathing, taking a few minutes, sitting, and taking some deep breaths in through your nose, out through your mouth. Visualizing pleasant places, places that you’ve been in the past, places that you see yourself going in the future. Close your eyes and picture yourself in that location. Body scanning includes just paying attention to how you’re feeling, different areas of your body. Are you stressed? Do you need to relax in those areas? Do you need to stretch? You can meditate. You can light candles. You can do anything that you find brings you a sense of calm, but make sure that you do those things. And maintaining a regular schedule or routine during the work week, as I noted. This can help with managing your time more efficiently. The schedule can take many forms, and it might be a shared schedule with a partner, or it might be your schedule with your child or elder care. Be flexible and forgiving. Have a schedule, but if you don’t stick to it, something gets in the way, that’s okay. We’re going to try again tomorrow.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: And lastly, ask for help. We might feel that we’re expected to solve all of our own problems and figure things out, but we know that these are uncharted waters for all of us right now. And if we ask for support, whether that be extra time on a project for work or seeking support from a friend or a colleague, verbalize to your partner when you need a break, or even reaching out for professional help from a therapist, these are all ways that we can help ourselves. So how do we recognize when we need more help? If you notice that you are struggling to cope, and the symptoms of stress and anxiety just won’t go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Maybe you’ve tried some of these strategies, and it just seemingly is not helping. You can reach out to a professional and engage in psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, or medication if need be. These are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So let’s talk a little bit about the anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental health in adults. There are several types of anxiety disorders, which include generalized anxiety, panic, social anxiety, and various phobia-related disorders, just to name a few. Generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for most days for at least six months about a number of things. This can be personal health, work situations, social interactions, essentially everyday work/life circumstances create some worry. The worries cause significant problems in different areas of your life, such as interactions with other people, school, work. And you may often feel some physical symptoms of just being restless, difficulty relaxing, having sleep difficulties, and a few others.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: People with panic disorder have recurrent or unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that seem to come quickly out of the blue and reach their peak within minutes. These attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger such as a feared situation or a feared object. During a panic attack, people may experience a racing heart. They might be sweating. They might have a feeling of impending doom, something bad’s going to happen, feel like they’re out of control. People with panic often worry about when this next attack will happen, and they actively try to prevent their future attacks by avoiding places, people, things, behaviors that they associate with panic attacks. And the worry about the panic attacks and the effort spent trying to avoid these attacks causes significant problems in different areas of your life.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: And we’ll do social anxiety. People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear or anxiety in social situations or situations requiring a performance. So they worry that their actions or behaviors associated with the anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. And this worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. So there might be physical symptoms that they experience such as chest pain or feeling hot, shakiness, headaches, a racing heart, muscle tension. The social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety, and the situations are avoided or at least endured with intense anxiety when they’re in those situations. So the fear is persistent, lasts for six months or longer, and causes significant distress. There are other anxiety disorders, and you can visit our website for more information.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Researchers are finding that both genetic and environmental factors tend to contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. And although the risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder might vary, some general risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders include what’s called behavioral inhibition or a temperamental trait of being shy that is often noticeable in early childhood, exposure to stressful and negative life events that occur in childhood or in adulthood, a history of anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives in the family, and some physical health conditions like thyroid condition, heart arrhythmias. Caffeine consumption or other substances can produce and aggravate anxiety symptoms. A physical health examination is helpful in evaluating the possibility of anxiety disorder. So it’s really important that you seek help from a provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment if you experience any of these symptoms.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So let’s talk a little bit about treatment. Despite anxiety being very common, the good news is that anxiety is quite treatable. Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy or medication or both. There are several ways to treat anxiety, and people should work with their doctor to choose, well, what treatment is best for you. Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help people with anxiety disorders. And to be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties or tailored to their needs. So this therapy can be adjusted to meet the needs of each individual. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an example of one of the psychotherapies that can help people with anxiety disorders. CBT has plenty of scientific support which demonstrates its effectiveness for people with anxiety. CBT teaches people different ways of thinking, feeling, and reacting. And when we’re in these situations, we teach people how to manage the anxious thoughts that they may be experiencing. Generally, people with anxiety fear that bad things will happen, and they won’t be able to handle them. So CBT can also help people learn skills and strategies which increases general efficacy.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Cognitive therapy and exposure are two CBT methods that are often used together, and they treat the different anxiety disorders. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying challenging and neutralizing unhelpful or disordered thoughts that underline anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on confronting fears underlying the anxiety and helping people engage in the different activities that they’ve been avoiding. So therapists who are trained in exposure therapy can help people to safely face their fears through graduated or step-by-step practice. And during CBT, you might also learn different ways to manage the extreme anxiety you have through learning relaxation and coping tools that you can use outside of the session when you’re feeling very anxious.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So sometimes when therapy’s not as effective or symptoms get in the way of engaging in therapy, medication is a great option. Medication does not cure anxiety disorders, but it can relieve symptoms. So medication for anxiety is prescribed by doctors such as psychiatrists or primary care providers. Some states also allow psychologists who have received specialized training to prescribe. The most common class of medications to combat anxiety disorders are anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and beta blockers. So anti-anxiety medications can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, panic, or extreme fear, and the most common anti-anxiety medication are called benzodiazepines. Although benzodiazepines are sometimes used as a first-line treatment for generalized anxiety, other anxiety, they have benefits and drawbacks. Some benefits of benzos are that they– of benzodiazepines are that they’re effective at relieving anxiety and take effect, basically, more quickly than antidepressant medications. Some drawbacks are the benzodiazepines, people can build up a tolerance to them, and if they’re taken over a long period of time, then you might need a higher and higher dosage to get the same effect, and people might even become dependent on them. So to avoid these problems, doctors sometimes prescribe benzodiazepines for short periods of time. They’re helpful for adults, older adults, maybe people who have substances abuse problems and people who become dependent on medication easily. If people suddenly stop taking these medications, they may have withdrawal symptoms, so we advise that you work closely with your doctor when you decide it’s time to stop the medication.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: So again, for long-term use, the first line of treatment we say to use is antidepressant medication. So benzodiazepines can be considered as a second-line treatment, but for long-term use, we suggest antidepressants. And these are helpful for treating anxiety. They might improve ways that your brain uses certain chemicals that control your mood or control stress. You might need to try several different ones before finding one that improves your symptoms and has manageable side effects. Knowing a family member who’s taken an antidepressant can be helpful in knowing if a medication may work for you as well. So do know that antidepressants can take some time to work, so it’s important to give the medication a chance before reaching a conclusion about if it’s effective. If you begin to take antidepressants, don’t stop them without the help of a doctor. Again, any medication that you’re on, consult with your doctor, and you guys can come up with a plan for how you can slowly and safely decrease your dosage. It is best to engage in CBT while on medication for the greatest benefit when treating your anxiety disorder, so it’s important that you find a provider with whom you feel comfortable so you can work together to find the best treatment for you, whether that be CBT, medication, both. But talk with a qualified professional.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Okay. So thus far, I’ve given you a lot of information, and now is a good time to sit back and do a guided meditation with me. Meditation is a useful tool for calming stress and anxiety and helping you to relax, refocus, and bring you to the here and now. We’ll do a brief meditation to connect to the present moment. So take a few seconds to find a comfortable position. If you’re sitting, keep your back straight but relaxed, and keep your feet planted to the ground. You can close your eyes to really get into it, or, if you’d like, rest your eyes on one particular spot on the wall or in front of you. Take a deep breath in, hold, and release. Take one more deep breath in through your nose. Focus on the sensation of the air passing through your nose and into your body. Feel the slight movement in your chest as you breath and exhale, gently letting the air out. Focus on the calmness of the space around you. Relax your muscles as you continue to breath. Notice any tension and relax those areas of your body.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: As you continue to breath, slowly in and out, notice how your body feels in that chair or on the couch, what you’re feeling as your body is resting in that space. Notice the pressure on the different parts of your body. There’s no particular way to be. Just notice how you are in this moment. If you notice physical discomfort or distressing thoughts, simply allow them to be. Let them come and go. Be open to any sensations, feelings, or thoughts that you may be experiencing and know that they’re going to come, and then they’re going to pass. Continue to breath and focus on any physical sensations. Do you feel the air around you? Do you feel it on your skin? Is the air still? Imagine yourself as light as the air. Relax. Can you hear the air coming from your vent or through the window? What else do you hear? Pay attention to the sounds around you. Do you hear other voices in your home or just my voice? Let the sounds come and go as they please.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Now, let’s shift your attention and awareness to your emotions. How would you describe what you’re feeling right now? Are you happy? Sad? Irritated? Bored? Are you not sure what you’re experiencing? Be aware of your emotional experience and allow it to be. Whatever emotion you’re experiencing is fine. It’s okay. Refocus on your breathing. Hold and release. Focus on air moving in and out of your body and the quiet that surrounds you. Let any sounds, thoughts, and feelings come and go as they occur. Notice and acknowledge them and let them leave. Bring yourself back to your physical space. Open your eyes and take a few more deep breaths, in and out. Now, pat yourself on the back for taking time to engage in this meditation. Take note of how you’re feeling before you jump right back into your day. Remember that you can use this exercise or any similar exercises like this whenever you feel you need to take a break. And you see it only takes a few minutes to do. You can integrate breaks throughout your day and do a relaxation tool– or use a relaxation tool to help yourself calm down and refocus yourself to the present moment.

KRYSTAL LEWIS: Okay. So at this time, be mindful. We’ve reached the end of our discussion today on managing stress and anxiety. Thank you for joining us today. Get the latest shareable resources on coping with COVID-19 from NIMH at www.nimh.nih.gov/covid19. Thank you so much for joining us today, and please, everyone, stay well.

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Stardust review: David Bowie biopic ‘fails to do justice to musical icon’ – Lewis Knight


It may not have been wanted by a number of David Bowie devotees – including the singer’s own son Duncan Jones – but is Stardust worth the controversy that came with it?

Set in 1971, David Bowie (EMMA. star Johnny Flynn) heads out on a US publicity tour where he lies on the brink of true greatness but is in need of some guidance and ironically for Bowie, being brought back down to earth.

Paired with Mercury Records’ Ron Oberman (Marc Maron), Bowie faces some soul searching as this odd couple travels and the musician performs some rather disappointing gigs.

Amidst this, Bowie recalls a troubled familial background as the tour and his past help him in his transformation to become his iconic alter-ego of Ziggy Stardust.

So, does this film – made a mere four years after Bowie’s death – do justice to the Hunky Dory star?



Johnny Flynn stars as David Bowie heading out on his 1971 US publicity tour

Among the many pitfalls in Stardust, the most glaring has to be the lack of Bowie’s iconic songs, which are such a true example of his genius and staying power and of which convince the audience of the character’s true artistry.

While the admirable work of Johnny Flynn convinces us that the actor and musician has got some good pipes on him, he fails to deliver Bowie’s signature stage presence and when lacking the legendary songs of the singer, fails to make an impact.

Additionally, while convincing enough in showing some of Bowie’s personal traumas, the writing provided fails to offer any psychological insight into its subject, proving the death knell in Flynn’s attempt at a portrait of Bowie.



Jena Malone stars as Angie Bowie in Stardust
Jena Malone stars as the musician’s first wife, Angie Bowie



Bowie heads out on a difficult journey across the US in Stardust
Bowie heads out on a difficult journey across the US

There is no convincing, detailed or well-drawn journey here and instead his character arc feels half-hearted. Also absent is an almost alien-like uniqueness to the Bowie we see on-screen and beyond fans recognising some occasional wardrobe choices, you probably wouldn’t know who this person was supposed to be.

Of the supporting performances, Maron is reliable enough in the sort of brutally honest and practical manner he usually delivers, while Jena Malone brings some welcome charisma and snark with her take on Angie Bowie.



Flynn's take on Bowie sees him grapple with some soul-searching in Stardust
Flynn’s take on Bowie sees him grapple with some soul-searching



Bowie emerges with his Ziggy Stardust persona in the film Stardust
Bowie emerges with his Ziggy Stardust persona

Sadly, none of the relationships, particularly the vital sibling relationship of Bowie’s past fail to resonate and feel well-drawn enough to latch onto. Again, this mostly feels down to the script from director Gabriel Range, whose directorial style fails to make an impression despite still keeping proceedings somewhat watchable.

Ultimately, Stardust is a disappointing biopic of a musical Titan that fails to capture either the art and – most importantly – the artist.

Verdict

Stardust fails to do justice to musical icon David Bowie, with the lack of his back catalogue feeling especially absent, along with an inability to capture his unique and otherworldly essence.

Stardust is available now on digital platforms in the UK.

What is your favourite biopic about a musician? Let us know in the comments below.



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Hats off to Hayley Lewis, World Champ


In a brilliant night for Australian swimming, Linley Fram from Melbourne won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke, just failing to edge out the Soviet Union’s Elena Volkova.

Hayley Lewis of Australia on her way to winning her 400m Freestyle heat. January 9, 1991.Credit:Rick Stevens, Sydney Morning Herald Archives

Hayley, 16, pumped up by her silver medal win on Monday night in the 400m individual medley, clinched Australia’s first gold medal at these championships in what is considered to be her weakest event.

Cheered on by a crowd of 6,700, Hayley swam mostly blind in the outside lane to win in 2min 0.48s, ahead of her great US rival Janet Evans, who secured the silver in 2min 0.67s while Denmark’s Mette Jacobsen was third in 2min 0.93s.

The last Australian to win a world swimming championship event was Tracey Wickham in the 400m and 800m freestyle in Berlin 12 years ago.

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“I don’t believe it, I really don’t believe it,” said Lewis after she shed a tear during the national anthem.

“I honestly believed it would take a time of under two minutes to win. The crowd really got me going.”

Hayley did not at first qualify for selection in the 200m after coming third behind team-mates Julie McDonald and Nicole Redford and only slipped in when McDonald pulled out to concentrate on her distances events.

But before the final, Australia’s head coach Don Talbot told Hayley she could win the 200m, although she hadn’t been training specifically for the shorter sprint event.

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Brisbane Heat defeat Sydney Sixers, upset, Joe Burns fails, nightmare, Lewis Gregory, Mark Steketee


The Brisbane Heat have knocked off the defending champion Sydney Sixers with a brilliant upset at the Gabba.

Max Bryant got the Heat off to a great start with 40 off 23 balls but it was a team effort with the bat as the Heat chased down the Sixers’ 8/165 with seven balls remaining.

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Lewis Gregory’s 16-ball 31 and Jack Wildermuth’s 10-ball 22 got the Heat over the line as the side moved ahead of the Scorchers into sixth to put pressure on the top four.

It was a major scalp for the Heat and ended the Sixers’ four-game winning streak with a solid performance in front of a vocal contingent of fans.

The only blemish was the performance of axed Test star Joe Burns who’s nightmarish summer has continued as he struggled with one off seven before holing out to Ben Manenti at third man.

Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard said that while he tried to stay impartial, he desperately hoped Burns would score some runs.

“Say it ain’t so Joe,” Howard said.

“He’s been through a horrendous season,” Isa Guha added. “He got that 50 in the first Test match and you thought he was back. It was a really courageous knock and managed to see the side over the line and did it comfortably at the end.

“You really feel for him at the moment but hopefully he’ll be able to get himself out of this patch and that’s all you have to say to yourself.”

Andrew Symonds added: “I suppose you wonder what’s going through the poor man’s head.”

He added that if he was ever out of form, he’d go back to basics and return to what he had done successfully in the past.

He’d also speak to his old coach from when he was 13 or 14 years old and he would give him confidence to as he’d seen Symonds bat throughout his career and give him slight tweaks to his technique.

But the Heat didn’t allow the wicket to get them down as they ticked off the total.

Some sloppy fielding from the Sixers late and smart batting saw the Heat tick off the runs with good running and selective hitting as the side get the season back on track.

Earlier, Mark Steketee was the chief destroyer with the ball, taking 4/33 from his four overs, including the wicket of Daniel Hughes after Jimmy Peirson pulled off a ripper.

It looked to have beaten the man however but Peirson flew across to take the one handed grab parallel to the ground.

“That is a Superman dive,” Isa Guha said.

“He had nothing left, he couldn’t have gone much further could he? In his finger tips, that’s his unnatural side as well, he’s right handed so that’s a superb effort,” Andrew Symonds added.

Josh Philippe hit a brilliant 48 off 36 balls but was given out LBW as the Sixers struggled to build the total.

After his dismissal, Jordan Silk took over with 43 off 27 balls but the wickets kept falling as the side lost quick wickets in the middle overs that kept the scoring rate under control.

In the end 8/165 never seemed like enough with Philippe commenting that he thought the side left runs in the middle believing the side could have had “180-190”.

It sees the Sixers fall to third after the Hurricanes claimed a win earlier in the day but the Sydney side have another game in hand.

Updates


Andrew McMurtry

The Brisbane Heat are taking it right down to the wire in pursuit of the Sixers’ 165.

The Heat have had contributions all throughout the night but the Sixers have had a couple of costly mistakes.

Dan Christian dived over one ball that went for four and a second misfield in a sloppy 17th over gave away five extra runs, along with two wides in an over that went for 16.

It reduces it to 23 off 18 balls.


Andrew McMurtry

Joe Burns has been dropped from the Australian Test team but his BBL return has gone no better with the hapless Aussie opener contributing just one from seven balls before holing out to Ben Manenti off Jackson Bird.

Mark Howard said that while he tried to stay impartial, he desperately hoped Burns would score some runs.

“Say it ain’t so Joe,” Howard said.

“He’s been through a horrendous season,” Isa Guha added. “He got that 50 in the first Test match and you thought he was back. It was a really courageous knock and managed to see the side over the line and did it comfortably at the end.

“You really feel for him at the moment but hopefully he’ll be able to get himself out of this patch and that’s all you have to say to yourself.”

Andrew Symonds added: “I suppose you wonder what’s going through the poor man’s head.”

He added that if he was ever out of form, he’d go back to basics and return to what he had done successfully in the past.

He’d also speak to his old coach from when he was 13 or 14 years old and he would give him confidence to as he’d seen Symonds bat throughout his career and give him slight tweaks to his technique.

Hopefully Burns has someone like that to get him back on track.


Andrew McMurtry

BBL|10 has had some insane catches and now Brisbane Heat skipper Jimmy Peirson has added to the highlight reel.

There was Jordan Silk’s Superman fielding over the boundary rope earlier in the year, while Mackenzie Harvey nailed a stunner last night.

But Peirson has done it with the gloves on, taking a brilliant catch.

On 2, Sixers skipper Daniel Hughes went to late cut the ball down to third man but got too fine and edge on it.

It looked to have beaten the man however but Peirson flew across to take the one handed grab parallel to the ground.

“That is a Superman dive,” Isa Guha said.

“He had nothing left, he couldn’t have gone much further could he? In his finger tips, that’s his unnatural side as well, he’s right handed so that’s a superb effort,” Andrew Symonds added.

The Heat’s social media called it “an absolute hanger” and it’s hard to argue.

Jimmy Peirson is just showing off now!

What a catch! #BBL10 pic.twitter.com/9zeS8jdgMJ

— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 2, 2021

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Andrew McMurtry

Josh Philippe has the Sydney Sixers batting well against the Brisbane Heat, getting to 44 off 30 balls after 10 overs.

But last wickets in the power play has the Sixers drop to 3/84 off the 10 after Daniel Hughes was dismissed for 2.

While the Sixers have some hitting down the order, a few quick wickets could put the skids on the Sydney side.


Andrew McMurtry

Brisbane Heat stand-in captain Jimmy Peirson is adamant his side can still make a Big Bash League impact with the “cavalry coming” for their underperforming batting line-up.

Dropped Test opener Joe Burns, English import Joe Denly and injured regular skipper Chris Lynn are soon set to bolster the Heat line-up, with Peirson believing Burns, in particular, can lift the young side.

Burns is back for the clash against the Sixers.

“(He’s a) very seasoned batsman and it’ll be great to get him amongst our group,” Peirson said.

“His composure … he brings a lot of runs and nerves don’t seem to affect him as much, so it’s good having that calm, senior head in this group.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys in this group, especially with our batters, so he’ll be a good thing to have.”

The Heat crashed to 3-8 chasing the Hobart Hurricanes’ target of 150 at the Gabba on Wednesday night, and while they almost forced a super over, Peirson conceded his team’s batting needed to be much more consistent.

“We’ve got to find a way to win those games,” he said.

“I am pleased with the fight we’re showing, we’ve been quite competitive. We’re kicking ourselves in those situations, and if we do a few other little things as well we’ll start to win those games.

“We haven’t fired with the bat yet, I don’t think, and when we do we’ll be quite a tough team to beat.

“Our bowlers are standing up game-in, game-out. I’m seeing things I’m confident in, and if we put a few more little things in the batting particularly, we’ll start putting games together.

“Once we start doing that, the belief will build off that and … we’ve got the cavalry coming as well.”

– NCA Newswire





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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton receives a knighthood in the United Kingdom New Year’s Honours List


Motor racing great Lewis Hamilton has won just about every title and record there is in Formula One.

Now he has another, royal-appointed title to go along with his sporting achievements after the seven-times F1 world champion was awarded a knighthood in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s Honours List published on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old this year became the most successful F1 driver of all time after equalling Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles and breaking the German’s record of 91 grand prix race wins.

The sport’s only black driver, who grew up in social housing as the grandson of immigrants from the Caribbean, Sir Lewis has also used his profile to campaign for diversity and speak out against racial injustice.

The Monaco resident’s presence on the overseas and international list, rather than a main one with many rewarded for service to public health in a pandemic, was seen as a reflection of his tax status.

The Daily Mail newspaper said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had “bent the rules” to get around the tax requirements for domestic awards.

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The citation referred to Sir Lewis’s sporting record and his “charitable and philanthropic contributions in the UK and overseas”.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins, famed for his work on movies such as “1917”, “Shawshank Redemption” and “Skyfall”, was also knighted on the same overseas list.

Hamilton’s supporters have long felt his achievements have not been sufficiently recognised at home and they expressed delight at the Mercedes driver joining a select group of sporting sirs.

“Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car,” said newly-appointed Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali, a former Ferrari team principal.

“What he has achieved is phenomenal, with still more to come.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hailed Hamilton, who won his first title with McLaren in 2008, as the most successful British sportsperson of his era.

The knighthood, he added, showed that Hamilton — often seen as a polarising figure — was “now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport”.

“The UK can be very proud to have a champion and ambassador of the calibre of Sir Lewis Hamilton,” added Wolff.

One of the records that Lewis Hamilton has broken this year is the mark for career Formula One pole positions with 98.(AFP/DPPI: Florent Gooden)

Sir Lewis is the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after the late Australian Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and triple champion Jackie Stewart and the only one to have received the award while still racing.

Cycling’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold medallist Mo Farah, England cricketer Alastair Cook and twice Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray have also been knighted as active sportsmen.

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Reuters/ABC



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F1 news 2020: Sir Lewis Hamilton knighted, Great Britain New Year Honours


Lewis Hamilton has been knighted in Britain’s traditional New Year Honours list after equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One world titles.

The list recognises outstanding achievements in various fields including show business, sport and politics, as well as the contributions of a larger number of everyday citizens.

There are many awards this year for those seeking solutions to the problems posed by coronavirus as the pandemic drags on.

Get all the latest F1 news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!

Hamilton, 35, surpassed Schumacher’s record number of career race wins during a stellar season in 2020 that was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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Lewis Gregory delivery, video, Brisbane Heat vs Hobart Hurricanes, run out, reaction


Lewis Gregory is the most thankful man in the Big Bash following last night’s epic contest between the Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes.

Gregory was unfortunately on the wrong side of the thriller that ended in a centimetre perfect run out on the final ball of the Heat’s innings, leaving them one run short of sending it into a super over.

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The chaotic and nerve-racking finish to the contest overshadowed a moment from earlier in the clash that Gregory would have been happy about being forgotten.

With Hurricanes power hitter Tim David at the crease, Gregory tried to keep the ball as far away from his willow as he could. With what would have been the fifth ball of the over Gregory was called for a wide.

The next ball was sent miles over his head and into the upper deck at the Gabba. Gregory again tried to go wide, but he was wildly off target.

Gregory appeared to slip as he delivered the ball which sent it way off the pitch and landing on the practice wicket, David could do nothing but watch on as Heat skipper Jimmy Peirson chased the wayward ball down.

You can watch the horror delivery in the video player above

“Lewis Gregory with a Harmison special,” Rick Eyre tweeted.

“Lewis Gregory just missed the cut strip in the BBL. Oh my,” Jack Mendel wrote.

One Twitter user made the unfortunate link between Gregory’s delivery and that of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

“Lewis Gregory or John Howard,” the user wrote.

Gregory slumped onto the pitch and sat there laughing as the umpire strolled over to make sure he was fine before delivering the bad news his poor ball was a no-ball and the Hurricanes had a free hit.

“That is the most remarkable delivery of BBL10. He‘s fallen over and missed the cut stuff!” Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard said.

“The off-cutter just went wrong.”

Mike Hussey added: “The umpire‘s come up to him and asked, ’Are you okay mate? By the way, it’s a no-ball free hit’”.

David decided to pour salt into the wound by clubbing the final ball of the eventful over back into the stands, leaving Gregory once again to simply watch on.

Chasing 151 for victory on Wednesday evening, the Heat found themselves needing two runs from the final delivery to secure a win.

Hurricanes paceman Scott Boland delivered a low full toss, which Mark Steketee slapped into the covers and promptly sprinted through for a quick single.

It was stopped by South African international Colin Ingram, who struck the wickets at the non-striker’s end with a direct hit.

The decision went upstairs to the third umpire, and replays showed that Steketee’s bat had bounced as the stumps were dismantled.

The untimely bounce meant Steketee had been run out, and the Hurricanes had secured a nailbiting one-run victory.

A chorus of boos echoed around the Gabba when the verdict appeared on the big screen and the baffled Hobart players celebrated in the middle.



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Arise Sir Lewis! F1 legend Hamilton knighted in New Year’s honours list | UK News



Seven-time Formula One title winner Lewis Hamilton has been given a knighthood in the New Year honours list.

The 35-year-old had previously been overlooked – reportedly due to his tax affairs and his move to Monaco in 2010.

But in November, Motorsport UK and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Formula One wrote to the prime minister saying it would be “totally wrong” to deny the champion a knighthood because his “tax status has been misunderstood”.

Others included in the New Year’s honours list include:

MBEs:

  • Singer and DJ Craig David
  • Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor
  • Retired footballers Jimmy Greaves and Ron Flowers

OBEs:

  • Former EastEnders actress Nina Wadia
  • Screenwriter and Line of Duty producer Jed Mercurio
  • Actor Toby Jones

CBEs:

  • Academy Award nominee and actress Lesley Manville

Knighthood:

  • Two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins
  • Former attorney general Geoffrey Cox QC

Damehood:

  • Make-up artist Pat McGrath
  • Angela Eagle, long-time MP for Wallasey in Merseyside
  • Actress Sheila Hancock

Hamilton, 35, has been in the news recently after saying his success over the last year had been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

He took the knee on the grid and wore anti-racism slogans during the motorsports season.

The honours system has been criticised as being too closely-linked to the UK’s colonial past, with titles linked to the Order of the British Empire.

In 2019, George The Poet revealed he had turned down an MBE because of the “pure evil” of the British Empire and “the colonial trauma inflicted on the children of Africa”.

A similar sentiment was expressed by poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who turned down an OBE in 2003, saying he was “profoundly anti-empire”.

Director Ken Loach refused an OBE in 1977, saying the British Empire “is a monument of exploitation and conquest” and Liverpool’s first black footballer Howard Gayle turned down an MBE in 2016 saying his ancestors “would be turning in their graves after how empire and colonialism had enslaved them”.

But the head of the Honours Secretariat at the Cabinet Office has said that, despite efforts to make the list more inclusive, the ’empire’ reference will remain.

Helen Ewen said: “There are no plans currently to make changes in this area – you’ve seen today that we’ve again seen a growth in the number of individuals in black and ethnic minority communities on this list, which we strongly welcome.”

This year’s list is the most diverse to date, with 14.2% of those honoured coming from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, while 6.9% have a disability and 4% identify as LGBTQ.

Also included in the list of honours is Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, who has been recognised for her work fighting social isolation.

She said: “I would have much preferred for my sister to be here carrying on the work she started on loneliness and so much else, but while this is sadly a bittersweet moment for our family, I know that Jo would be extremely proud.”



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Lewis Gregory made a big impact in his BBL debut for the Brisbane Heat


Stir crazy Brisbane Heat hero Lewis Gregory said he may have underestimated how difficult Australia’s two-week mandatory COVID-19 quarantine period would be.

But being able to play cricket in front of fans is solid compensation.

The Englishman helped the Heat notch their first win of the Big Bash season with three key wickets against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba on Sunday night, just two days after finishing his 14-day quarantine period.

Gregory conceded the quarantine period had been difficult, especially during the festive season and now understood why some internationals, including several of his countrymen, had pulled out of the competition.

“It’s obviously difficult and I may have underestimated how difficult the two weeks quarantine is – I think a lot of the guys have struggled and I think a few guys have pulled out because of that,” he said.

“It’s not easy, it’s not nice being away from your family during what is a nice time to be with your family.

“Equally, the UK is not the best place to be at the moment as well, so it’s just nice to be out playing some cricket, playing in front of supporters and hopefully coming out and winning a few games.”

His effort to pick up Hurricanes top-scorer D’Arcy Short (27 off 20), as well as world no.1 T20 batsman Dawid Malan (15 off 16) and Peter Handscomb (7 off 8) – the latter pair falling off successive deliveries in his second over – made him the most successful bowler on Heat debut.

“It’s just nice to put in a performance and contribute to a winning side,” Gregory said.

“Obviously we’ve not started well but a couple of the games we’ve lost could have gone our way and then it’s a completely different story.

“I think that’s T20 cricket a little bit, it’s quite easy to get on a run – win or lose – sometimes it’s very difficult to get out of that so it was really important to get that win and we could quite easily go on a two, three, four match (run).”

With captain Chris Lynn (hamstring) out of action for two weeks and set to miss a total of six games, Gregory’s injection was a welcome relief.

“Lynny’s obviously a huge loss but it’s nice for him to be around the boys for the next couple of weeks and try to get fit,” he said.

“Hopefully we can have a really good four or five games and be in a position for when he returns.”

His efforts were all the more admirable given he had just one practice session with his new teammates – in the Gabba nets – and had not bowled on the pitch before Sunday’s match.

“They came out okay considering I’ve had one bowl in the last few weeks,” Gregory said.

“It’s just a case of trying to mix things up, it’s a pretty decent surface and they’ve got some pretty powerful players, so it was a case of trying to mix it up and trying to keep that variety.”



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Brisbane Heat beat Hobart Hurricanes by three wickets at the Gabba with a big performance from Lewis Gregory


There was no Chris Lynn but the Brisbane Heat may have a new hero in English all-rounder Lewis Gregory.

With hamstrung captain Lynn watching from the sidelines, Gregory became the first player to take three wickets on debut for the Heat in Sunday’s four-wicket Big Bash League win over the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba.

The victory is the Heat’s first of the summer and takes them off the bottom of the competition ladder.

Prior to the game, Brisbane’s only point of the season had come from a bonus point in getting a higher 10-over score than the Sydney Thunder in Canberra on December 14.

Gregory, whose mandatory quarantine period ended on Christmas Day, took 3-22 off his four overs including the key wickets of D’Arcy Short, Dawid Malan and Peter Handscomb as the Hurricanes were restricted to 7-148 in their innings.

Brisbane chased down their target despite a collapse in the middle of the innings, reaching 6-152 with 16 balls to spare.

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Bowling on the Gabba for the first time in his career, Gregory took just three balls to make his impact when he removed Short for 27 in the eighth over of the match.

In his next over the 28-year-old dismissed English international teammate Malan (15) and ex-Test batsman Handscomb (7) with consecutive balls.

At that stage, Gregory had 3-5 off 1.4 overs and was an instant fans’ favourite with the stacked Hurricanes’ batting line-up reduced to 4-66.

“It’s not easy. It’s not nice being away from your family on what is quite a nice time to be with your family.

“Equally, the UK is not the best place to be in at the moment as well so it’s just nice to be out playing some cricket, playing in front of supporters and hopefully coming out and winning a few games.”

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An unbeaten 26 to James Faulkner lifted the Hurricanes to set a victory target of 149 but that target always looked under par.

Sam Heazlett, who creamed three consecutive sixes off teenage debutant Wil Parker’s (0-27) first BBL over, top-scored for the Heat with 48 off 27 balls in a quickfire opening stand with Max Bryant.

The pair smashed 73 off 38 balls before Bryant fell for 31 to seemingly put the Heat on a downhill cruise to victory.

Short (3-11), however, sparked a collapse by the home side where they lost 6-29 to send a scare through the Gabba crowd.

Jimmy Peirson (left) and James Bazley (right) steadied the ship for the Heat to clinch the team’s first win of the season.(AAP: Darren England)

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Included in that three-for was an amazing reflex caught-and-bowled where the Heat’s Tom Cooper (7) did a full-blooded straight drive only for Short to pluck it, leaving Cooper to walk off shaking his head.

Stand-in captain Jimmy Peirson (16 not out) and debutant James Bazley (31 not out off 19) steadied the ship with an unbeaten 50-run stand to secure the much-needed win for the Heat.

“I think par winning total here batting first is about 179-180, so we knew we were short, but we also knew it was a slightly different wicket,” Hurricanes skipper Handscomb said.

“We were hoping that would be enough if we bowled well.

“Credit to their openers, they came out and played their way, played to their game and hit some nice shots, hit some hard shots and got them off to a flyer and got us behind the game.”

The two teams meet again at the Gabba on Wednesday.

AAP/ABC



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