Stress is simply a physiological response within the brain and the body to feeling threatened, either physically, emotionally, or mentally. The threat may be real or perceived. In our modern day lives, stress is usually experienced as a form of emotional or mental pressure and a feeling of being overwhelmed or not in control.
It can be said that stress is a part of everyone’s lives. In fact, we need a certain degree of stress to give us our get up and go. For instance, when we wake up in the morning our body will have already produced an increased amount of a stress hormone known as cortisol to help us get started with the day. However, when we feel overwhelmed by stress, we can lose our motivation and ability to enjoy life. Sadly, the relentless pace of life in the 21st century is a problem for many people. Covid-19 has caused additional stress disrupting our lives in so many ways. Short periods of stress are usually manageable, however chronic stress is a serious health risk that causes notable physical and psychological symptoms.
Learning how to cope better with stress and learning how to relax is a valuable life skill. We may get away with the effects of stress when we are young but as we grow older the effects of chronic stress can be devastating.
The current situation with the coronavirus rate of infection rising in the UK and elsewhere is undoubtedly stressful and worrying. However, with so many negative reports in the media, it is important for anyone who is prone to anxiety and low mood, to limit their exposure to fear inducing negativity. Try watching or listening to the news just once a day at a specific time and leave it at that. News stories are predominantly negative so if you’re feeling low, that will only make you feel worse. Yes, we all need to be aware of the facts, but it does not help to dwell on the negative aspects too much. All this will do is feed anxiety and make us feel afraid.
Focusing on a problem, shining a metaphorical spotlight on it in the mind; focusing on what is wrong in the world, with the government, with our lives, with the situation regarding the coronavirus or whatever is challenging, will only make the problem expand to the point that a person can become obsessed with it, thinking about the problem constantly and going over and over it repeatedly. Inevitably, this will lead to anxiety.
A solution focused approach involves taking positive steps to reframe our thinking patterns and focus on the positive aspects of our lives. It also requires us to let go of the negative thoughts that increase our stress and make us feel worse and involves replacing those thoughts with an outlook that is helpful and balanced. I teach people how to do this when they work with me on a one-to-one basis. For the time being here are a few tips to help you cope with the current situation:
I help clients cope with stress and anxiety by using a range of techniques including solution focused hypnotherapy, mindfulness and talking therapy. If you would like to learn how to relax and cope better with whatever is causing stress in your life, then I am here to help you. Just get in touch.
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