The word stress is frequently heard in today’s society. The demands of busy lifestyles and a faster pace of life has seen an increase in recent years in the number of people talking about and experiencing stress. But what exactly is stress, how can we recognise the signs of stress and what can we do about it?
The Oxford dictionary defines stress as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”. Situations and events in our life may put pressure on us. For example, we may have lots to do and think about or we may find ourselves in a situation where we don’t have much control over what happens. Such circumstances can be stressful. However, there is a difference between pressure and stress. It is mostly our reactions to being placed under pressure, that is the way we think and feel about that pressure, that determines the level of stress we feel. If we’re feeling overwhelmed with the particular challenges we’re facing, pressure turns to stress.
What are the signs of stress?
Stress can affect you both emotionally and physically. It can also affect the way you behave. Symptoms will vary from one person to another and one situation to another as we all experience stress differently in different situations. Below are some of the signs that you might be experiencing stress.
How you might feel
- Anxious or nervous, fearing the worst or having a sense of dread
- Irritable, impatient or wound up
- Unable to enjoy yourself or uninterested in life
- Restless, unable to relax or switch off
How you might behave
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Crying or being tearful
- Over eating or eating too little
- Smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual
- Biting your nails or picking at your skin
How you might be affected physically
- Constant tiredness and fatigue
- Muscle tightness and tension
- Headaches or migraines
- Raised blood pressure
- Digestive problems or skin complaints
- Sleep problems, difficulty sleeping and vivid or disturbing dreams
Just as the symptoms of stress vary from one person to another so too do the ways of managing stress. The ideal solutions for one individual may not be the right or preferred options for another. What is going to be common place however, is developing your emotional resilience. This means taking steps to look after your wellbeing, putting self-care as a priority so that you build your inner resources to deal with the pressures and strains of life and thereby reduce the impact of stress. Resilience is not just your ability to bounce back, but your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances.
What would be the first sign that you are taking care of yourself better? It may mean making some lifestyle changes. Perhaps it would be giving yourself a proper break, scheduling in time alone for relaxation and physical exercise or arranging some fun activities with friends. It may be making steps to eat more healthily, engaging in mindfulness activities or spending more time in nature. Making positive lifestyle changes can help you to cope with pressure and stressful situations.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Changing your thinking can give you the strength and motivation to make beneficial lifestyle changes. Hypnotherapy helps you to form fresh perspectives about events and circumstances in your life, helping to reduce negative thoughts and feelings so that you feel less anxious, more relaxed and sleep better. This in turn increases feelings of control and the ability to cope with the stresses of life.
To find out more about hypnotherapy and how it can help with symptoms of stress call 07514 931 096 or email me using the contact form.