Managing Stress – A short break or a long-term solution?

This time of year many of us take our annual summer break to rest and recoup. There is no doubt that a holiday can help us to relax, to escape from the usual pressures of daily life and re-charge the batteries. But what if you’re suffering from chronic stress? Is a holiday the answer to managing stress in our lives?

Sustained stress can manifest itself in many ways. This may include problems sleeping, irritability, feeling overwhelmed or out of control. Physical symptoms can include high blood pressure, skin complaints, digestive problems, headaches and fatigue, all of which can further exacerbate stress. If stress persists over the long term there is a risk of more serious damage to the body. Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, are secreted into the bloodstream and this lowers the response of the immune system. Cortisol also increases abdominal fat, which is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Whilst on holiday we may benefit from better sleep quality, enhanced mood and energy levels, lower blood pressure and reduced levels of cortisol, which may well improve our ability to function when returning to work. Taking time off work and getting away from the day to day pressures of life is certainly one way to reduce stress and its associated anxiety, but a holiday may not be the answer or even an option for everyone. If the reasons behind the stress and the reactions to it are not dealt with, the symptoms of stress are likely to resurface. The physical symptoms which emerge as a result of chronic stress are the body’s way of telling us there are issues in our life that need addressing.

Lifestyle changes may be needed to reduce stress to a healthier and more manageable level. We may need to re-evaluate our priorities and our attitude of mind, the way we perceive events and circumstances in our life. The interconnection between our mind and body – the link between our thought processes and our physical health – has been scientifically proven. Negative thoughts and beliefs stimulate the release of stress hormones whilst positive thoughts and actions lower stress hormones and increase endorphins (serotonin and dopamine). Balancing the levels of these positive hormones lowers the negative effects of stress on the body.

Hypnotherapy is a highly effective tool for managing stress

The power of hypnosis helps you to form fresh perspectives about events and circumstances in your life, helping to clear negative thoughts and feelings and reduce anxieties. The positive changes in thinking help you to feel more relaxed and to sleep better. This in turn increases feelings of control and the ability to cope with the stresses of life. Whilst there will always be events in our life beyond our control it is how we perceive and deal with them that matter most. Changing your thinking can give you the strength and motivation to make beneficial lifestyle changes. The tools which can be learnt through hypnotherapy last a lifetime. So, instead of wondering when your next holiday will be, why not set up a life that you don’t need to escape from?