This month is Stress Awareness Month and stress is something that I work with my clients on a lot, in many different shapes and forms.
Stress can manifest itself in very different ways and most of us have, at one point or another, felt stressed. Stress, even though not a specifically defined medical condition, is still hugely serious if not addressed and dealt with. If ignored, stress can grow and overwhelm us leaving us unable to function and run our lives which can seriously impact our mental and physical health.
Having this month to highlight stress is good – and needed. Stress can be caused from all sorts of things including the pressures of work / life / relationships / money, and can leave us feeling anxious, tense and highly adrenalized which in turn can lead to not sleeping or eating properly, lacking concentration and experiencing ‘fight or flight mode.’
Fight or flight is where we see our primitive brain take over and we react from a place of fear, not thought – we are not thinking, only reacting, which can be very dangerous as we are not being rational or logical and can make rash decisions or impulsive actions.
Stress Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of what stress is, what it feels like and offer insight and solutions into how to tackle it before it becomes all-encompassing. I work with a number of my clients to tackle stress and we work together to identify what area of their lives is causing them to feel this way. And I have to say, it is usually not just one area but a mixture and overlap in many.
From there, we see what we can do to tackle it. I speak to them about their life habits – are they resting, eating well, exercising? If not, can we make some subtle changes and monitor how they feel? We look at their self-care and general wellbeing habits and try to work out together what might be facilitating their stress.
It’s not news that exercise, eating well, sleeping well and practising self-care leads to a healthy body and mind but sadly, when life throws us some curve balls, looking after ourselves can fall by the wayside. What we all need to try and remember is, even when we are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, we need to take the time for us, however hard that might be; it is so worth it for our mental and physical states.
Planning is really helpful here and scheduling in your ‘you’ time – whether that’s an hour for just you (to do whatever you want but preferably without technology / kids / other people and preferably with a bath / book / massage), your fitness or meditation and your sleep. Having this laid out can alleviate that ‘out of control’ anxious feeling and give a sense of organisation which can take the pressure off.
Speaking to someone about how you feel really helps – and by this I don’t just mean professionally (even though I would love to help you), but friends, family, colleagues. The phrase, ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved’ does have some semblance of truth here as talking, sharing and acknowledging where you’re struggling and feeling stressed can really help.
What is worth remembering is that stress affects us all and temporary stress is perfectly normal but when it is impacting your life, your wellbeing and your happiness, it is a big issue and needs addressing as it can be relieved.
Do you suffer from stress? Could I help you work towards feeling happier? I offer a free, no obligation Possibility Session to see how we can work together.