When you are put under excessive physical or psychological pressure, at times of crisis, or even perceived crisis, your body undergoes a rapid chemical change; powerful hormones stimulate the body, and may give feelings of panic, fear and or anxiety. The hormones also switch off most of the body’s metabolic activities, such as the digestive and the reproductive systems.
When we talk about stress we generally only look at the negative aspects. What a lot of people don’t understand is that without stress we would not survive for very long. In times of danger we need stress; stress is the body’s way of giving us extra energy.
Fight or Flight response
The release of stimulating hormones such as Adrenaline into the bloodstream is essential to us, to give us the energy required to run away from, or to stand and fight the danger – this is known as the fight or flight response.
As you can see up to now stress has been working for us. Unfortunately, in the modern world we are dictated to in that generally we have nowhere to run to, nor do we have the opportunity to fight the perceived danger, you may be at work or at home the situation has the same effect.
Because of this, we have generated an other response to danger: we freeze, both mentally and physically. Now we have Fight, Flight or Freeze, or, to you and me, STRESS.
This is now the point where stress can become a Danger to our well-being, because when we go into ‘Freeze mode’ our bodies find it difficult to dissipate the excessive build up of Adrenaline, and, if we do not dissipate it, and the other hormones and their effects from our systems, our ability to produce the vital defence substances known as ‘Interferon’s’ is drastically reduced.
Stress and the Immune System
When the body is under attack by viruses, the infected cells release Interferon’s to provide protection for other cells that may be open to attack from the invading viruses, or any other organism that tries to invade the body. So, if we experience prolonged or excessive Stress, not only is the body under direct attack from within, it is also far less able to defend itself from even simple, external infections such as the common cold.
It then becomes harder for the body to cope with a wide range of illnesses; the body and the mind become more vulnerable to further Stress, general health declines, and we can enter a vicious, downward spiral.
Stress can and does kill; it is important to monitor your stress levels. Most of us don’t always appreciate how and why our stress levels have become so out of balance. Stress levels can rise rapidly, without you noticing that it is happening, until your physical and mental health have deteriorated to such a point that recovery is far harder.
At times of over-stress it can be extremely hard to put your finger on the precise nature of the problem. Everything, work, life, and even just living, can become harder and harder to cope with, until you feel life is out of control.
On the other hand, you may be fully aware of the reasons why you are feeling so stressed, or apathetic, yet the feeling of being trapped by the causes of your difficulties can be so strong that you become more stressed, making it appear difficult to do much about it.
The last thing that most people who are suffering from excessive stress will admit to is the fact that they are suffering from the effects of stress, or that they cannot handle that stress. They tend to view it as some sort of weakness to even admit to having excessive stress in their lives. It can seem like a weakness to admit to family and work colleagues that they are under too much pressure. They can be afraid that their boss will see it as a sign of weakness, and or a sign that they cannot do their job properly. This puts extra worry and stress on the nervous system, making an already poor situation appear to be even more intolerable.
But there is something that you can do about it, and that is to learn to control the negative effects of Stress on your mind and body.
Hypnotherapy helps reduce stress
By using hypnotherapy and NLP you can regain control of your life, you can deal with your emotions, and have a method to enable you to relax and thereby dissipate the hormones released into your body.
How many of these signs of stress do you recognise?
- Breathing becomes shallow and more rapid
- Heart rate goes up, and sometimes races
- Raised blood pressure
- Increased Blood sugar levels
- Unable to perform work or tasks as well as you used to, clouded judgement
- Concentration is impaired
- A loss of confidence and a loss of enthusiasm
- An increasingly cynical outlook on life
- Sleeplessness and especially, early waking
- Sex drive is lower, or you can feel sexually unsatisfied
- Starting to have a greater dependency on alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or drugs
- Aches and pains are increasing, especially in the neck, head, jaw, lower back and shoulders (caused by too much Cortisol)
- Incidences of minor illnesses such as colds and flu have increased (each one seems to take longer to shake off)
- Appetite has altered to either a desire to go on a binge, especially on sweet, sugary foods, or a loss of all appetite has occurred
- With extreme stress, bowels may loosen
- Excessive perspiration
At times when stressed you may feel:
- Short-tempered, anger over the slightest thing
- Very irritable, agitated, for no apparent reason (caused by too much Adrenaline)
- Detached from the world, on a high (caused by too much Noradrenaline)
- Unusual clumsiness
- Chest pains
- Depressed, tearful, for no apparent reason
- All over tension
- Fatigued, even after a night’s sleep (caused by too much Adrenaline)
- Panic (caused by too much Adrenaline)