What is Stress?

– From Stressed to your Best –

According to the dictionary, stress is ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances’, you may know it as worry, anxiety, nervousness, distress, trauma, suffering, challenges, pressure, tension or strain.

We all need a little bit of stress in our lives – it enables us to get up in the morning, and enables us push through mild pain or fear. However, too much stress can cause issues for us, both mentally and physically. When our mind feels threatened or under pressure our body reacts, which can ultimately affect our every day lives, from work to relationships.

When our minds feel threatened like this, our body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘flight, fight, freeze mode’ which in turn releases chemicals to prepare the body for action. This may cause nausea, sweating, heart palpitations, hot flushes etc.

When our stress levels go up, and it can be over a long period of time and a gradual process, our body will produce those stress hormones in order to react quickly to dangerous situations, leaving us in a permanent state of ‘flight, fight or freeze’ which can make us feel unable to cope with every day situations.

When we are stressed, we can behave in ways that we wouldn’t normally. These can include:

– Drinking or smoking too much

– Getting angry or snapping

– Being indecisive

– Feeling unmotivated and low

– Being tearful

– Struggling with sleep

– Withdrawing from the world

– Trying to control situations

We can also have physical responses such as aches and pains, night sweats, indigestion or nausea. You may find that your sleep and memory are affected, you are less motivated or your eating habits change. Some research has also linked long term stress to medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.

The great news is that we can retrain our brains to think intellectually before this survival mechanism kicks in. Solution focused hypnotherapy does just that – underpinned by neuroscience – it can help you cope better with all life’s challenges leaving you stress free and ultimately living a better life.

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