We all hear that stress is bad for us, but how many of us know why?
Stress can affect us, no matter what our age and, sadly, it is now experienced by a growing number of young people. It can take on many different guises and does not discriminate against personal background. Our stress levels are higher than they were a century ago and that’s not because life is ‘harder’ now, but because of the type of stressors we have to cope with. Our level of ability to cope and adapt to those stressors can consequently affect our emotional and/or physical wellbeing.
Today, so much of what we rely on is in the hands of other people, like job security (our employer), food for our family (our employer), our security (the police) and so on. Added to a decrease in the feeling of community and extended family support and you have a great recipe for stress.
With increased stress and the accompanying decrease in relaxation time, comes raised levels of stress hormones within your body – hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Blood pressure rises.
Stress is designed to help us cope with a short term emergency. This instinctive mechanism is known as the 'fight or flight' response and is there in order to keep us alive! To learn more about this primitive mechanism click here.
In the long term, stress hormones begin to suppress your immune system function and interfere with sleep quality.
Typical symptoms of excessive stress include:
- high blood pressure
- muscle tension, e.g. lower back pain
- anxiety disorders
- impaired immune system
- skin complaints such as eczema and psoriasis
- bowel disorders (IBS)
- substance abuse
What I can do to help you reduce stress
- help you identify key stressors in your life
- work with you to devise a strategy to reduce the impact of those stressors
- teach you proven coping techniques
- help you identify a more balanced lifestyle
- teach you how to relax, which is vital to stress reduction.
- reduce or remove unhelpful ways of behaving during hypnosis
- rehearse a more balanced way of behaving during hypnosis