We talk about stress an awful lot and we usually think of it as something bad.
However, we can also have ‘good’ stress and it’s important to know the difference. Eustress is ‘good’ stress and it’s the sort of stress we might experience if we are going for an interview or sitting an exam. We often have this stress preceding an event which might move us forward. It is motivating and energising.
Its nemesis is ‘distress’ and this stress is probably more familiar to us when we think of stress. Distress is often an overwhelmed nervous system, it’s a container filled to the top and overflowing, impacting our lives daily.
For some reason stress has become one of those things that people worry about admitting to in case they’re judged to be weak. It’s also something that many people think is a necessary evil if you work hard. The truth is the body is like an engine and just like you wouldn’t leave your car burning fuel 24/7, you risk creating potential problems if you repeatedly leave your body running the stress response because it floods your system with powerful chemicals like Adrenaline and Cortisol and over time, these cause inflammation internally.
Way back in 1995, Harvard University published research that stress was responsible for 95% of all disease and illness in ordinary people like you and I, and yet little seems to have changed. It’s time to address the myths that stress only happens to weak people because stress affects us all to some degree.
Stress can badly disrupt the system and in doing so it can incapacitate us in a number of ways. It can affect sleep, appetite, motivation, focus, mood, the ability to sit still, the ability to switch off and the way we cope and respond to difficulties.
Nowadays, stress can be lauded as a badge of honour; it’s admirable to over-work, it’s impressive to multitask, it’s okay to take work on a family holiday with you. (I’ve had clients say to me “the children don’t mind if I’m working on my computer while they’re in the hotel pool.” Really, do you truly believe that?!)
No matter how you sell it to yourself; you can call it ambition, dedication, part of being a provider but the truth is we weren’t designed to operate without a break. It’s time to look at how we treat ourselves compared to, for example, how we treat our cars. One gets time off when not in use, regular tune ups at the garage and even the occasional valet. The other often gets ignored, overworked, and ridiculed for even the slightest signs of not running efficiently.
I used to think that my constant busyness and multi-tasking as a mum was a sign that I was just a normal mum. It wasn’t true, it was a ticking time bomb affecting my health both physically and mentally as I got older.
Many of us still carry stress from childhood; without intervention childhood trauma and stress can impact us long into adult life. But even without childhood stress normal life throws up regular challenges which can be stressful. Perhaps, you’re getting married, buying a house, or having a baby. Maybe, you’re looking for work, living with illness or coping with bereavement.
How does this work?
No matter the stresses you are coping with we can use therapeutic modalities like Clinical Hypnotherapy, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to bring some balance back into your system.
Wouldn’t it be good to recalibrate and recharge your system? You do have a choice.