Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. The term ‘stress’ refers to the response you have when facing circumstances that force you to act, change, or adjust in some way to maintain your footing, or to keep things balanced. In small doses, these factors increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus. This is where some people will say stress is good for you! So, is fighting stress affecting your health?
What’s Going On?
When you are stressed your adrenal glands are forced to produce more cortisol and adrenaline (the main stress hormones). These hormones prepare the body for emergency action.
- Heart pounding or beating faster,
- Breathing quickens or become more shallow
- Muscles tighten,
- Arms or legs shake
- Blood pressure rises
- Your senses become sharper
All of these are automatic reactions coming from an area of the brain called the amygdala. That’s like your internal fire alarm. This stress response has existed in humans since we were cavemen. Life was much simpler then and life and death situations really meant life and death! Now, they don’t. However your brain has not figured that out!
Here’s the thing. When you internal fire alarm is going off, it also switches off your thinking brain. So you can’t think clearly or logically!!!
Is it Affecting Your Health?
Stress that continues over long periods of time can contribute to serious health problems. Stress can affect you in many ways.
- Weakened Immune System
- Sleep Issues
- Low Energy
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Memory Problems
- Fuzzy Thinking
- Anger Issues
- Inadequate Nutrition
- Poor Time Management
- Pessimistic Outlook
- Aches and pains for no particular reason
Often we only notice the emotional effects of stress, however there are many physical impacts too. So it’s important we do something about our responses or even our lifestyles to counter-balance this.
Causes of Stress
So those hormone responses are there for times when you are being chased by a tiger or a bear, not when your boss is too demanding, you are juggling too much, or any of these listed blow! There are many events in life that can cause stress.
- Wrong or Difficult Job
- Redundancy or Unemployment Worries
- Long Hours
- Conflict with Colleagues
- School or College Pressure
- Friendship Difficulties
- Test Anxieties
- Financial Worries
- Negative Relationships
- Parenting Challenges
- Unhealthy habits
What Can We Do?
By exploring the main contributors to your stress, as well as habitual thought patterns that can help or hurt, this can help to give you a clearer picture of where the stress is coming from so you can cope more easily. The very first thing to do is learn a breathing technique.
By learning a simple breathing technique and practicing it (every hour if you can) you can really incorporate it into your subconscious. That way, when you need it, it will be so much more easily accessible.
Using a breathing technique helps to switch off the internal fire alarm and calm everything down, so reducing the effects of stress. The more you do this, the faster you will become at controlling things. The more you control it, the less stressed you will get!
Hi, I’m Emma, Hypnotherapist in York with a particular interest in helping you with anxiety, stress, fears and phobias so that you can take back control of your thoughts and feelings. That way you can quickly and easily feel more able to cope with your busy life! There are no magic wands or quick fixes instead I give you personalised tools that work for you and fit with your lifestyle.