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Stress Management: Why is it so important?

Stress Management: Why is it so important?

All of us have experienced stress at one time in our lives or another.

Stress is our body’s response to threats. If we sense danger, we start to go into a defensive response that is sometimes known as a ‘fight or flight’ reaction.

Our bodies release stress hormones which make our heart beat faster, raise our blood pressure and sharpen our senses. This can be good for us in certain situations, when the adrenaline helps us to think and act quickly.

However, when the stress builds up over time this can lead us to a heightened state of stress that takes over our lives. Experiencing this chronic stress can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, but it can also have lower level effects such as upset your digestive system.

Once you are experiencing chronic stress, you can be more susceptible to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, sleep issues, and even skin conditions. The stress hormone cortisol can even cause us to retain weight unnecessarily.

Stress can be cause by a range of factors including major life changes, difficulties at work, relationship problems or financial hardship. There are also internal factors such as your own self-limiting beliefs, irrational thoughts or innate worries.

Factors that cause stress will be different for everyone. Whilst some people will thrive in high pressure work situations and find themselves feeling stressed when they don’t have enough to do, others will crumble when faced with a high workload. Some people love to speak in public, whilst others will find this causes them significant anxiety. Sometimes we may not feel that we have anything to be stressed about, but we will experience the physical symptoms and find that we must dig deeper to find out the cause.

Whatever causes the stress, the effects are both physical and emotional for everyone. You may experience memory loss, an inability to concentrate and a low mood. Feeling overwhelmed can totally take over your life and make it hard to function properly in work or in your home life. You may have aches and pains and even feel dizzy and nauseous when stress is at its worst.

If this sounds like something that you are experiencing, then stress management may be a useful approach for you. Spotting the warning signs of stress in yourself or your loved ones and addressing them early can prevent longer term issues and enhance your quality of life.

Stress management techniques can help you to address these symptoms, but they could also help you to avoid them before they even arise. These techniques might include taking breaks, exercise, breathwork, meditation and seeking support. Whilst some of these might seem difficult when you are already feeling overloaded, they are worth it if they improve your mental state.

We offer a Stress Management class that covers all of these ideas and more, to help you move away from an emergency stress response and take back control.

2 Comments

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