Manage Stress and Become More Resilient
Have you ever found yourself talking about how stressed you are?
For some people it’s a good thing, it keeps them motivated. Only the other day one of my colleagues was busy telling me how stressful his life was! Lots of demands on his time with a young family and challenging job. Endless to-do lists and a period of difficult decisions to make for his business. Yet despite all this ‘stress’, he was feeling motivated and relished the challenge!
Of course, while a certain level of stress can be motivating for one person, the same level of stress may overwhelm someone else.
Why do we feel stressed?
Stress is a normal psychological and physical response to the demands in our daily life. Back in primitive times, through the release of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline, early men and women gained a rush of energy, which prepared them to fight the wild beast or run away from danger. These helpful hormones meant that they could focus their attention, respond quickly and importantly, survive! These days, this ‘fight or flight’ response still helps us react appropriately to dangerous situations and keeps us safe.
Stress affects your mind and body
When we are under sustained pressure on a regular basis, we can begin to feel overloaded and the pressure can turn into stress, leaving you with feelings of being unable to cope which affects our emotional and physical health.
It can leave you feeling demotivated and increasing isolated from others and many people experience disturbed sleep which only makes matters worse. Stress is also known to contribute to heart disease, hypertension and high blood pressure. It can affect the immune system, is linked to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), muscle and joint pain and even allergies.
Here’s 4 things you can do to keep stress under control and feel more resilient:
1. Learn to recognise the warning signs
Emotional – Tense, Anxious, Irritable, Lack of enthusiasm
Physical – Headaches, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate, muscle aches and pains, constipation or diarrhoea, changes in appetite
Cognitive – Negative thoughts and excess worrying, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions
2. Keep Moving!
Although it’s much easier to survive in the modern world, we have far more stress that our primitive ancestors, and we’re far less active than these days! Any physical activity is helpful – walking, swimming, jogging or even gardening. Regular aerobic activity calms the body, so it can handle more pressure before the stress hormones kick in which raises the point of a physical reaction to stress making us more resilient and more able to cope.
3. Interact with others
Take time out to interact with other people in a positive way. Maybe a quick chat with a neighbour, walking the dog or taking time to meet up with old friends you’ve not seen for a while. Whatever you feel able to do. It all helps create chemical processes in the brain which give you a boost of serotonin which helps us feel calm, motivated and more able to cope.
4. Think Positive
When we focus on the positive things in our life, we think from the Left Prefrontal Cortex of our brain, the positive part. It helps shift our thoughts from the emotional part of our mind to the rational intellectual logical part. Your brain triggers thousands of neurons with every thought and these neurons combine to form a neural network. Repeating the same thought process triggers the same neurons so, when we make a conscious effort to recognise the positive things in life, we build new helpful thought patterns which helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Helps Relieve Stress
Find lasting relief from stress and learn to respond to triggers more constructively, so you can cope better each day. Focusing and visualising your preferred future helps your sub-conscious mind create a positive template to work with.
Then, by responding to external pressures in a calmer, more positive way, stress-related symptoms often improve. As you begin to think differently, you’ll feel better and begin to gain a better enjoyment of life!
If you’d like help managing your stress levels, please contact Andrew for a chat in confidence.
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