Many people want to combat stress but just don’t know how. Studies show that long-term activation of stress symptoms can have a hazardous effect on our bodies. When the signs of stress persist we are at risk to many health problems that we often do not realize are, in large, part attributed to stress, such as:
- Heart disease
- Obsessive compulsive or anxiety disorder
- Substance abuse
- Ulcers or diabetes
- Tooth and gum disease
Stress can affect sexual behaviour and reproduction, it can also inhibit the immune system making us more vulnerable to colds, flu, fatigue and other infections, it can cause digestive problems. Stress can also bring on a full-blown panic attack.
Common causes of stress
- A job used to be for life – now it is not
- Students at University seem more stressed, they have left home (left the nest) and are now managing on their own, academic pressures, work load increase, exams, separation from parents and friends and burning the candle at both ends
- Husband and wife are usually both working to maintain their present standards
- (1999 issue of the APA monitor, the journal of the American Psychological Association)
- Work stress
- Pensioners living on fixed incomes
- Illness and disability
- Our environment – we must endure weather, noise, traffic and pollution
- Financial problems
- Job interviews
- Disagreements and Relationship Problems
- Demands on our time and attention
- Loss of loved ones
- Rapid growth of adolescence
- Illness, ageing
- Lack of exercise, poor nutrition
- Sleep disturbances
All these tax our bodies, which leads to muscle tension, headache, stomach upsets, and anxiety.
Our brains interpret and translate complex changes in our environment, and body, and determines when to turn on the emergency response, (flight or fight response) leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
Stress is an everyday fact of life, which cannot be avoided, it is inherent in any change in our lives to which we must adjust to.
We can have good stress as well as bad – it is how we react to these experiences that cause major problems. If we thrive on deadlines then it is good stress, but, if we go to pieces at each deadline, then its not doing us much good. When stress is a part of a natural reaction to challenge the body’s responses its called positive stress, however, when we feel out of control or under intense pressure we may experience the physical and emotional symptoms brought on by negative stress, and these are the signs of stress we need to recognise and control.
What effect can stress have on our lives?
Some of the physical symptoms of stress:
(they can be brought on by other illnesses, so it is important to get checked out by your doctor.)
- Sleep disturbances
- Back, should or neck pain
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Irregular heartbeat, palpitations, chest pain.
- Asthma or shortness of breath
- Upset or acid stomach, cramps, heartburn, IBS, constipation, diarrhoea.
- Weight gain or loss, eating disorders.
- Hair loss
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Skin problems
- Reproductive problems
- Immune system suppression, more colds, flu, infections
Like physical signs, emotional symptoms, such as anxiety or depression can mask conditions. It is important to find out whether they are stress related or not – they can affect your performance at work, your physical health, or your relationships with others.
- Nervousness, anxiety, butterflies.
- Depression, moodiness
- Irritability, frustration
- Memory problems
- Lack of concentration and trouble thinking clearly
- Feeling out of control
- Substance abuse, and alcohol abuse
- Phobias, panic attacks
These can lead to relationship problems.
The antisocial behaviour displayed in stressful situations can cause a rapid deterioration in relationships with family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers. A person under stress may manifest signs such as:
- Increased arguments
- Isolation from social activities
- Conflict with co-workers or employers
- Frequent job changes
- Road rage
- Domestic or workplace violence
So what can we do to combat stress?
- Learn to breathe properly, slow deep breathes, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, slow everything down when you become stressed and learn to relax. (hypnotherapy and yoga are ideal)
- Exercise more, exercise produces endorphins to make you feel good. Take up some kind of sport, swim, gym, tennis, walk.
- Learn to deal with difficult people
- Learn to say NO
- Talk your problems over with some one
- Relax every day, learn self-hypnosis, have a massage, listen to relaxing music.
- Take time out, have a warm bath.
- Eat nutritiously, get enough sleep, if you don’t you produce extra stress hormones – stay comfortable.
- Enlist the help of your GP and a reputable hypnotherapist. Remember you are not the only one suffering from stress, it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help or seek professional advice. Prolonged excessive stress can lead to depression
Hypnotherapy to combat stress
Most people really don’t use effective ways to combat stress. They try to combat stress by forcing themselves to relax this can actually increase their stress levels if they find it difficult to relax.
Hypnotherapy is a very effective way to combat stress it guides you in to a naturally relaxed state that even the most stressed person can enjoy and be comfortable with.
To combat stress effectively you have to learn how to deal with life’s stresses more effectively. By using hypnotherapy to combat stress, I can show you how to deal with stress in a more appropriate way that will leave you calmer and more relaxed all the time.