Stress can be useful to help us prepare for any challenges which may be coming up and can be perfectly safe if managed properly.
Too much however and it can be dangerous and debilitating!
The point at which pressure turns into stress differs between individuals and the key to preventing stress is having good personal management.
Tips, strategies and exercises to help you reduce and manage stress:
- Know what stresses you most
- Learning to say no
- Learn to relax
- Eat healthy
- Analyse your goals and motivation
- Stay active
- Build in enjoyment
- Organise and prioritise
Unfortunately it is most common for people to turn to unhealthy habits such as smoking and/or drinking in order to ”cope” which in fact have the opposite effect!
It is not the stressor that creates stress – it’s the person’s reaction or response to it! if you are living a balanced life, the way you perceive and react to stress will be healthier.
The Mind/Body connection
One of the key principles in Psychoneuroimmunology (mind/body medicine) is the relationship of the mind with the body. Current research is showing how when you allow stress to affect your life, you are allowing it to influence every organ and cell of your body. We now know that brain like tissue is found throughout the body.
In 1993 under the direction of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (NSCOM) scientists conducted an experiment that demonstrated that our cells, even outside of the body, will still respond to our emotions!!! White blood cells (leukocytes) scraped from the mouth of a volunteer were centrifuged and placed in a test tube. A probe from a polygraph, a lie, or emotion detector was then inserted into the tube with the donor of the cells being seated in a separate room being shown a television programme containing many violent scenes. The probe from the polygraph detected extreme excitation in the mouth cells even though they were not in the same room! Subsequent repeats of the test with donor and cells separated up to fifty miles and up to two days after donation showed the same result! Fascinating!! and showing that our emotions are not just in our mind, they are in every cell of our bodies.
You can choose to manage stress.
You can help to control stress by being aware of signs and symptoms and also by recognising, and if possible, avoiding situations that trigger stress.
First of all you must make the commitment to take care of yourself, many people have difficulty in doing this but it is vitally important.
List the primary stressors in your life rating their severity, try to avoid them if possible and take any steps needed to help alleviate any you can’t.
There are lots of ways to help with coping with stressful situations including the usual things such as taking a walk, having a bath, listening to music and by meditating.
One of the most beneficial ways however could be by using an NLP technique known as “Reframing” …changing the way you see a situation. For example, changing negative inner dialogue such as “ I can’t stand this” to something more positive such as “ This is not my preference but…”
There are many ways we can help to change our reaction and response to stress… most importantly by changing our mind!.. the way we look at things can greatly influence their effect on us.
NLP and Hypnotherapy can help greatly to change our mind set and tap into our unconscious mind in order to create the changes we need. They can be used to help you find and explore the reasons behind why you react in certain ways in certain situations, aiding beneficial change.