Have you ever noticed that experiencing stress in your life, especially excessive stress, can make it difficult for you to concentrate, to make decisions, and cause you to procrastinate, or make silly or simple mistakes, as in the example in the title of this article?
But why is that? The stress you experience is actually a mechanism that has enabled the survival of many species, including us humans, for thousands of years. Whenever you perceive danger, or threat, a message goes from your brain to your body in a millisecond, and your stress response automatically kicks in.
Some of your body functions, those that are not essential to saving your life, are switched off. These include your digestion, salivation, immune response, sex drive, growth hormones, and even intelligence. Your survival instinct takes over, instantly. This can happen even if you are only imagining danger or a threat!
Back in the days when we lived in caves we were always on the alert for that sabre toothed tiger, or any other threat to our wellbeing. The moment we sensed danger, when our life was at risk, the brain would signal a survival message to the body. Instantly it would prepare us for fighting, running, or staying absolutely still so as not to be noticed. Or, even pretending we were already dead! We know this as the “fight or flight (or freeze) response”.
Think of your body as a “chemical factory”, and at the first sign of danger your body produces adrenalin to prepare you to deal with the situation. You don’t even have to think about it. It’s a completely automatic response.
You may notice your heart pounding (palpitations) as it increases pumping blood and oxygen into the muscles around your body. Your breathing suddenly more rapid, to enable you to fight or flee in a hurry. Functions essential for short term survival are switched on, functions essential for long term survival are switched off.
If the fear, panic, or alertness continues for too long, more than a few minutes or so, and the life saving chemical changes in the body and the appropriate behaviour is not put into action, your body begin to produce a different hormone, cortisol. This hormone causes you to continue breathing at a faster rate than normal, and your heart to continue palpitating. As well as that your blood pressure will remain high, your immune system will continue to be shut down, and not functioning efficiently. All of this can soon cause you to feel exhausted.
Usually the anxiety is a temporary state which passes when there is no longer danger or threat. But too much adrenalin or cortisol over an extended period of time, has a very negative effect on your body, your mind, and can severely impact on your life.
Too much adrenalin can cause rapid heart beat (palpitations ) high blood pressure, anxiety, weight loss, excessive sweating, restless nights and insomnia, nerve damage. 1
And too much cortisol can bring about weight gain, skin infections, weak muscles, chronic back ache, brittle bones, irregular menstrual cycle or none at all, a decrease in fertility, libido, and impotence, anxiety, irritability, frequent headaches, chronic fatigue and even depression.2
Thankfully, we don’t need to watch out for sabre toothed tigers any more, but life still has its ups and downs. So, there are many other causes of stress which can trigger the same physiological responses.
You may be worried about being made redundant from work, paying bills, making ends meet. Perhaps you don’t get along with your boss or co-workers, are miserable at work. Or, your children, especially teenagers may be a major cause of worry. You may be having marriage or relationship difficulties. Or, being unhappy, not having the success you want, feeling overwhelmed with things out of your control. These can all cause you to think negative thoughts and feel negative emotions.
Any of these, especially if long term, can lead to exhaustion, sleeping poorly, problems with digestion and weight issues, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of interest in sex, and even more serious medical conditions. Does any of this sound familiar to you?Some people turn to alcohol, smoking, drugs, or even gambling to cope with stress. These may start off as just a distraction, but can become addictive, causing even more difficulties, and even more stress. Sometimes this can even lead to violence and abuse.
Have you found yourself on this ‘treadmill’ and can’t see a way off? Have you ever asked yourself what you can do to help yourself? How can you manage the stress more effectively?
One of the ways is regular relaxation! This may seem simplistic, but relaxation can have great benefits on managing stress. Of course there are many ways of relaxing – exercise, swimming, yoga, tai chi, meditation or something else that you enjoy. It could be anything that you would not do in an encounter with a “sabre toothed tiger” - listening to relaxing music, pottery, crosswords, jigsaws, painting, gardening, or just reading for pleasure.
And one of the most effective ways is to learn self hypnosis. As the automatic stress response starts in your subconscious mind, this is the ideal place to change your response so it doesn’t have such a damaging effect. Learn self hypnosis, and you will be able to use it whenever you need it - instantly.
There are wonderful benefits to learning self hypnosis, and/or having sessions with a hypnotherapist. Firstly, the profound relaxation you will experience brings about a more balanced state of your body’s chemistry, known as homeostasis. Many people, after experiencing hypnosis, say that they have never felt so relaxed. This, just by itself, has a huge and immediate affect on stress levels. And, in addition, positive suggestions directed to your subconscious mind will positively influence your thoughts, and emotions.
A whole new attitude will help you to think more positively and constructively, help you sleep better at night, and perhaps view your situation or problem(s) in a different way, which of course will enable you to manage stress much more effectively.
Click here for more information on hypnosis and hypnotherapy or phone 0800 2 SUCCEED
1. http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/adrenaline.aspx. 2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/126545-symptoms-much-cortisol-body/#ixzz2875M371SHow would you like to win a ????