• melaniemeik

Stop. Breathe. Address your stress

"Of Course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it's not real"

JK Rowling - Happy Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Stress. Is real.

We cannot always see it in ourselves, but more often recognise it in another person. We do not always recognise, that the feelings we are having in our physical body are being created by stress.

So how do we recognise it in ourselves, how can we better manage it?

We cannot feel an emotion, without a thought.

This can then become a vicious circle - thought creates a feeling, feeling creates a thought, thought creates a feeling...

Most of our stress begins in the mind. It may start small and then fester over time, as we push it away or do our best to ignore it, even when it consistently wakes us up at 3am on a nightly basis.

Stress can be a huge contributor to migraines, ulcers, eczema, IBS, hair loss and so much more and the longer we live with stress ,the more detrimental it is for our long term health. Living in a highly stressed state means that the body cannot repair itself.

Our reptilian brain function manages our stress response and in some cases a stress response is required to spark us into action to avoid danger. Since the beginning of humanity this response allowed us to allow us to run from a predator, ensuring our safety and survival and this instinctual response is as powerful today as it was then.

When we are stressed our brains receive information about a situation, and our brain will make a decision based on the presenting circumstances, a thought will occur about the situation and our brain will decide whether it needs t protect us or not.

If our brains deem the thought and the situation "not safe" then it prompts our inner pharmacy to release adrenaline and cortisol, engaging the reptilian "fight or flight" response.

Modern life sees us activating this stress response more and more in everyday situations, perhaps your phone is about to run out of charge before an important call. or you are stuck in traffic, struggling to manage your workload, finances.

One research study* indicated that these types of daily stress can cause brain cells to prematurely age by as much as a decade!

Now in some circumstances as mentioned previously this response is a necessary survival instinct, however when we allow ourselves to initiate this response on a more regular basis in day to day life, we overload our bodies of adrenaline and cortisol.

For example when we are in a stress response state the cortisol and adrenaline are sent to our limbs, again a reptilian response allowing us to have the energy to fight or flight, this pulls the energy and resources away from vital organs, from digestion ( hence why stress plays such a huge part in IBS).

There are so many things we can do to manage our stress better.

Engaging in breathing exercises and mindfulness.

It is free and so easy to do and the simplest way to bring yourself back to a state of calm, engaging the Vagus Nerve and the Parasympathetic Nervous System. We can change our thoughts, choosing to think more calmly and more positively. We can take time for ourselves and our wellbeing, and hypnotherapy is a great way to engage in some relaxation time, some quiet time, turning off the monkey mind and also dealing with the stress triggers and management of stress.

Call me for a free consultation and to chat through a stress management plan.

*EPEL ET AL Accelerated Telomere Shortening in response to life stress proceedings of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The USA 2004

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