A degree of stress is essential for all of us. It can help us prepare for challenges, provide motivation and improve performance. This so-called 'fight or flight' mechanism is an involuntary part of our autonomic nervous system, which produces the stress hormones
cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
In some people, these hormones can build to dangerous levels, affecting blood pressure, heart rate and sweat levels, causing anxiety, depression, possible weight gain and suppression of the immune system, making the body more susceptible to disease as well as the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
It is important to distinguish between normal, temporary, stress that passes once a situation is resolved and longer-term, or chronic, stress. Another, particularly severe, form of stress is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Chronic stress can be psychologically and emotionally damaging, and lead to physical complications. It can also affect the sufferer's friends and family. A quarter of all adults will have some form of mental health problem in their lives, and this can itself lead to stress.
Stress can be caused by many things, such as:
- pressure to perform at work or school
- money worries
- family and relationship problems
- moving house
- threats of physical violence
The symptoms of chronic stress may include:
- being irritable or angry
- apathy or depression
- constant anxiety
- irrational behaviour, mood swings and oversensitivity
- loss of appetite
- a tendency to comfort eat
- an inability to concentrate or make decisions
- loss of sex drive
- an increased likelihood of smoking, drinking, or taking recreational drugs
- excessive tiredness
- sleep problems
- chest pains
- frequent colds and infections
- high blood pressure
- skin problems, such as eczema
- aches and pains from tense muscles, including neck ache, backache and tension headaches
- increased pain from arthritis and other conditions
- feeling sick and dizzy, having fainting spells
- stomach problems including constipation, diarrhoea, cramps or ulcers
- missed periods for women
- nervous twitches
- nail biting
- increased sweating
- trembling, hyperventilating or even vomiting
- asthma attacks in asthma sufferers
You should always see your doctor first, to deal with any underlying medical issues, and to establish that hypnotherapy is an appropriate approach in your situation.
Soulworks will initially make sure you understand the nature of stress and the difference between essential 'normal' stress and more severe types. We will then work with you to identify the cause and work to prevent it in the future, which may involve some lifestyle changes.
Some self-treatment techniques may also be helpful, such as:
- making simple lifestyle changes, such as taking more exercise
- being more aware and open about the subject
- general relaxation techniques, such yoga, deep breathing, massage, music or taking a bath
- learning stress management techniques through self-help books, websites or support groups
Contact Miranda for further information or to request a consultation. Enquire now