- Do you feel constantly overwhelmed?
- Do you find it difficult sleeping at night?
- Do you have problems in relationships with your spouse, partner, family, co-workers, friends?
- Is it hard to get up in the morning and face your day?
If you are experiencing any of the above, you may be stressed.
Stress shows up in our lives in different ways. And how we respond to it determines whether we thrive – or struggle.
You may feel that learning to live with stress is all you can do, even though it might harm your health later on.
You may have found ways, even ones that work, to reduce the effect stress has on you.
BUT, it is good to know that anyone can learn to thrive – physically, mentally and emotionally – in stressful situations.
Understanding and then changing what is going on inside us – physically, mentally, and emotionally – is the key to effective stress management.
What is Stress?
We live in a world of constant change. The human body is brilliantly designed and built to respond to the changes that take place around us.
Change is the only real constant, and it produces all sorts of responses in our bodies!
Physical changes (day/night, hot/cold etc), chemicals we touch, smell or eat, electromagnetic fields, incoming information (about safety/danger, happy news/sad news etc.) – all require a response from our body.
The response may be a change in pulse rate or blood pressure, a change in hormone levels or other levels in the blood.
It may be the widening or narrowing of the pupil of the eye, the stopping or starting of digestive processes, shivering or goose bumps or it may even involve walking or running to a different location.
The response may also be a thought or feeling, which we might hold inside or expressed through a gesture, or through words – speech or writing.
Stress is what happens when these physical reactions are triggered to respond to a threat or demand of some sort – a real one or what we think or perceive to be one. Our body gears up for action.
Our hearts beat faster, our digestion slows down, blood is diverted from our gut to our muscles, our senses are heightened, our reactions faster, and we are ready to explode into action.
A situation that may be fun for one person, may be very stressful for another person.
It all depends on how we perceive the situation. The meaning we give to it decides whether or not the situation is stressful for us.
As long as we feel that it is not a threat to us and that we are equal to the demands of the situation, we welcome the change.
However, once we sense a threat, or if there are increasing demands, (particularly if the threat or pressure is sustained) we develop a perception that we cannot cope with the demands.
Our energy, efficiency and our mood deteriorate – sometimes a little, but sometimes more severely.
Unfortunately, most of the ways we choose to reduce stress are very ineffective. Worse still, many of our coping mechanisms (sugar and chocolate binges, smoking, overwork, shopping, alcohol, ‘push on through’ etc.) have major negative side-effects.
The Extent Of The Problem
- 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
- 75 to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
- Stress is generally known to play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
- The American Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace! Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
- More than 50% of the population experience some emotional disorder in their lives, often due to untreated stress responses or old, stored traumas.
- People often do not realize that they are stressed, or how much stress they are carrying in their system.
And yes, when you are stressed, it is harder to make good decisions, harder to manage your stress, and harder to follow a healthy lifestyle!
The Various Stress Management Strategies
There are many well-known ways of alleviating stress (Yoga, exercise, massages, meditation etc.), and they are mostly good; they take the edge off the stress, make it more bearable.
However, they deliver only temporary relief; the benefit wears off and they need to be repeated. They do not eliminate the stress because they fail to address the root causes of your stress.
Effective stress management requires three things to happen:
- Building emotional resources
- Stopping emotional drains
- Clearing old emotional accounts
Reduced stress –
- Improves performance and problem-solving ability
- Increases energy and creativity
Above all, it makes you feel better, and improves your health.
As your stress decreases, you experience:
- Increased insight and clarity of perception
- Stronger intuitive sensing of direction and meaning
- Better alignment between your values and your actions
- Peaceful appreciation of events and situations.
These processes reduce your stress further. The unwinding of a vicious cycle.
Listed below are the three steps necessary for effective stress management:
- Increase you resilience reserve:
Resilience is the capacity to absorb stress, to bounce back from adversity.
Mind-body strategies such as mindfulness meditation and the focused use of positive emotions will calm the alarm centres of your brain and build a reserve of resilience.
This is a powerful process; done persistently, it can be transformational.
- Release/resolve specific traumas or distress:
Most of us carry within us memories, experiences, or current situations that seem unchangeable, that are a constant source of background stress.
Targeted mind-body approaches produce rapid, profound and very specific shifts that free us from emotions or behaviours that our will power was unable to change.
- Develop a personally optimised Lifestyle.
Steps one and two will give us the focus, vision and determination needed to find and implement the best lifestyle for us individually.
General recommendations do not apply to everyone, and one size does not fit all; if you have a ‘diesel’ metabolism, you will not thrive on a ‘petrol’ diet.
Discovering your own unique needs is an exciting process that leads to self-sustaining health.
All three steps are needed, and going through them gives you a new recognition of how good your health can be, based on your new experiences.
These beliefs make thriving a natural response to stress.
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About the Author
Dr. Rodney O. C. Adeniyi-Jones graduated from the medical school of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Dublin) in 1975, and was admitted to membership of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK in 1978.
He trained in hospital-based internal medicine and Endocrinology until 1986, when he left Hospital Medicine to study homoeopathy, bioresonance, nutritional and herbal medicine, manual medicine, and other aspects of Functional and Integrated Medicine.
There are three main unifying principles behind his approach to health – and his approach to each patient:
- The innate healing ability of the human being is wiser and more powerful than most of us realize.
We need to acknowledge it, trust it, and create conditions in which it can flourish, if we want to achieve the best long-term outcomes in health, vitality and wellbeing.
- Our unique and individual nature as human beings explains why each of us can react differently to certain illness and treatments compared with other people.
3 Mind-body medicine and energy/vibrational approaches are completely central to real recovery and sustained good health.
If you believe you may be experiencing stress and you will like to manage the impact of your stress without drugs or other toxic chemicals, please call +44 0207 323 0100 to book a private CONFIDENTIAL telephone, Skype or face to face consultation with Dr. Rodney.
Dr. Rodney help clients from all around the world.