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Ann Finnemore, Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Stress Management

I blog about the latest research, items appearing in the news, related books I've read and about how the various tools and techniques I use in therapy and coaching work. I also like to pass on any tips that could help you succeed in making any of those changes you've been thinking of (along with the occasional healthy recipe). I hope at least some of what I write makes you think -- that's always a good way to kick off a change of some sort!

What's so bad about stress

What's so bad about stress

Not all stress is bad for our health. In fact, some 'positive' stress is very good for us. It can be what makes life exciting --in good situations where we feel in control, it causes feelings of excitement and thrill. It can be motivating. However, when the stress is negative and when we feel we have little control over the situation, then stress can have a negative impact on our physical and psychological health.

So what's going on?

The stress response is your body’s natural response to a situation perceived as threatening. It has evolved as a way of preparing your body either to fight off the threat or to run away from it, and is commonly called ‘the fight or flight response’.

What happens is that, once you come across something which you perceive as stressful (and this will be different for different people) your brain sends a signal to your body to prepare for fight or flight. This causes the release of hormones which act on your body to increase circulation, release sugar stores, stop digestive processes, increase awareness and wakefulness and generally prepare you for strenuous activity, fighting or running!

The response is evolved to be short-term and is harmless when that’s how it is called into play, as your body quickly gets back to normal. However, with prolonged stress, which we encounter more often nowadays the hormones ,designed for short-term action, are being produced for much loner periods of time. This is not good for the body and can:

  • raise blood pressure
  • increase sugar levels
  • lead to abdominal fat deposition
  • lead to chronic indigestion.

Raised levels of these hormones also affect your immune system making it less able to fight infections and more likely to cause inflammation and auto-immunity. Stress can therefore make some conditions worse, such as eczema, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

If the levels of some of these hormones stay raised for a long time, behavioural problems and sleep disturbances can occur.

Signs of Stress

The signs of stress are varied and some people will have more signs than others. Different people will have different collections of signs.  The important thing is to be aware of how stress is affecting you – if it is affecting you in a way which impacts negatively on your physical, mental or emotional health then it is time to do something about it!

Signs of stress are listed below:

Psychological:

  • Memory Problems
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor judgement
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Depression/unhappiness
  • Constant worrying
  • Feeling of dread
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Moodiness
  • Short temper/impatience
  • Loneliness
  • Reliance on alcohol/smoking/shopping/etc.
  • Nervous habits

Watch a short video explaining why anxiety and stress can cause the common symptoms of a pounding heart, racing pulse, light-headedness, tingling lips, forgetfulness, indigestion and poor appetite.

Physical:

  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia or over-sleeping
  • Palpitations
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Poor skin
  • Muscle tension and stiffness
  • Frequent infections
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Loss of sex drive
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Friday, 20 April 2018

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