Coping with Stress
I apologise for the picture. You have to admit it is funny though… I took it myself and wondered at the stress the driver would feel on return to their vehicle. The perpetrator looks rather proud though. Still, it’s a good example of how you can laugh or you can cry – it’s often your choice.
Thoughts affect your moods, Moods affect your thoughts and both create havoc with your body’s chemistry! The chemical balance in your body is vitally important to keeping you healthy. If there is imbalance you will feel bad, and your natural tendency to wonder why you feel awful creates concern, anxiety and …. more stress chemicals! So stress tends to create more stress! The more you try not to be stressed, the more stressed you get! So what can you do?
What is Stress?
Stress comes in many shapes and forms. Sometimes the reasons for feeling stressed are obvious, but more often than not anxiety and stress symptoms are not quite so clear.
Some stress is good stress! It gets our adrenalin going and can be exciting, fun and invigorating. As with most things, people differ in their ability to handle stress too.
So how do you know if you are stressed? Usually, if you are stressed, you know it, but sometimes we don’t realise that we are stressed because the stress is coming from the inside, and not from our life situation.
Physical symptoms include tummy ache, headache, tight and sore muscles, sleep problems and an inability to think clearly. More severe symptoms can include shaking, heart racing, sweating and even panic attacks!
Food and Stress
What we eat has a massive impact on our stress levels. Eating badly stresses the body more than you can imagine. Whilst bodies are mind-boggling in their ability to heal themselves, and can usually cope quite well with small amounts of bad food, we still have limits! If you fill your body with rubbish and don’t give it the nutrition it needs to cope, stress reactions and illness will result.
What about people who eat well, though? What is stressful to one body may not be stressful to another. We are all different, and it is worth figuring out whether a particular food is stressing your body.
Lack of sleep is also hugely stressful to the body, as is smoking.
Mindfulness has been proved scientifically to help ease anxiety and stress.
The practice changes patterns in the brain and enables you to be more in control of your life in general.
Anxiety, fear, anger all affect our chemical balance and change the way our brain functions. Brain function, in turn, affects our mood and so the cycle continues.
There are many books you can read which explain the benefits of a Mindfulness based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and some even have cd’s included to help you to practice Mindfulness Meditation.
If you would like to learn the practice on a one to one basis, over a period of twelve weeks, and are near Woking, Surrey, give me a call. Of course I would then also help you by using the other techniques mentioned such as self-hypnosis, EFT or nutrition to help you to find balance.
Alternatively, you could join one of the Mindfulness based personal development courses which I run from time to time. (Keep an eye on events!)
The mind is a wonderful slave, but a terrible master! In order to be the master of our lives and destinies, we must first become master of our own minds!