Stress – sneaky silent suffocating animal, it’s like an octopus

Las Vegas signI’ve been away in Las Vegas for a week – lucky me! It was fora conference but I find these occasions so inspiring and motivating. I always come back fired up with my driving cup overflowing and boundless energy. I’ve had little sleep for a week and then a long 11 hour overnight flight but still very keen to get on with my work.

My lovely friend Dr Mariette Jansen AKA Dr Destress is my guest blogger for this week and she has some amazing information on stress – check it out and then why not sign up for her free eBook on the subject?

Stress is such an accepted part of our lives, that we hardly pay attention to it. ‘Oh, I am stressed’ is a phrase that has nothing alarming to it, it is just what it is.

I think the reason that we respond to stress like that is that we actually don’t realise the impact and danger of ongoing stress, we don’t recognise the symptoms and we don’t know what to do about it.

Some facts about stress: 14084495_s

1. Signals, some examples:
a. Back pain – most common reason that people visit a GP and….. most common cause of the back pain….. stress
b. Indecisiveness – when we are stressed we usually can’t think straight. We mix up our rational thoughts with irrational emotions, which prevent us thinking properly
c. Anger – anger is an expression of frustration or hurt, but underlying is a form of stress
d. Shallow breathing – the breath is the carrier of emotions and if we are stressed and nervous our breathing gets affected

2. Danger is that our body gets worn out by the continuous stress, and shows a reaction that impacts the quality of our life, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, chronic fatigue syndrome or MS. Research has shown that stress leads to depression and other mental health conditions, which destroys happiness and quality of life.

3. There are a lot of things you can do to reduce the stress in your life. Some are not that easy, such as ‘get a pet’ or ‘move to the countryside’, but in day-to-day life you can start making changes right now.

The basic suggestions that I give to my clients are:
a. Pay attention to your breathing and try to breathe more deeply and slowly. You can turn this into a meditation where you set some time aside to focus on your breathing without thinking of anything else
b. Make sure you have daily exercise. This can be as easy as going for a brisk walk around the block, do some stretches while waiting for the kettle or go for a proper workout in the gym
c. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Dehydration is stressful for the body and affects our thinking, our emotions and or physical well-being.

More ‘complicated’ are the following:
a. Our internal dialogue, the way we speak to ourselves, is often causing stress. Being unkind, telling yourself off or even beating yourself up, is very unhelpful. Take a moment to consider what you are actually saying to yourself. Is that unkind? Time to change that
b. Women are known to be ‘people pleasers’, meaning that they find it difficult to say no, get involved in doing lots of things for other people, but actually not doing enough for themselves. That is stressful, even though doing something good gives us a good feeling, we don’t realise it also has another side, there is a price to pay. And what is that price? Very often we short change our own well-being and in the long term that is causing stress and unhappiness. 17765960_s

Regarding these last two ‘solutions’ to reduce stress, I have written a 5-step strategy that will help women to get more on top of their lives, make them feel in charge, reduce stress and of course feel happier and healthier. One reader emailed me back, saying ‘Whatever happens in the day, I now know I can keep going as you have taught me how to. It makes all the difference. Thank you.’ From Mai Gnuyen, a structural engineer.

If you want to receive the free ebook just go here.

Mariette’s proven system of psychological coaching combines psychology models, coaching techniques and MAGICAL MINDFULNESS to create quick, easy and fundamental changes that will support you for the rest of your life. Check out more here.

Photo: kbuntu ©