There’s no escaping stress in today’s modern world.
As we try to navigate COVID-19 on top of financial pressures, sickness and relationship issues, there’s a certain acceptance that stress has become a normal part of most lives.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as reported by Way Ahead, https://wayahead.org.au/stress-and-australians/ 75% of Australians report experiencing prolonged periods of stress at some stage of their life.
Some stress can be good for you. When the brain senses a threat, the body is flooded with cortisol which stimulates the fight or flight response. Otherwise known as hyperarousal, it’s this response that keeps you safe when you’re in danger or helps focus to function at optimal performance during an exam or test situation.
The issue with stress comes when the body is under ongoing stress. Either perceived or actual. While we’re mostly aware of the common impacts of stress such as insomnia, irritability, a racing heart, tension headaches and feelings of nerves or butterflies, it’s not so well known that stress can infiltrate every area of life.
How can stress impact health?
Here are some of the lesser-known effects of stress.
Impact on immunity
While short bursts of cortisol can reduce inflammation and boost immunity, over time, the body can adjust to higher levels of the stress hormone which can impact the body’s capacity to defend against illness-causing antigens.
Not only can you then become weaker at fighting off colds, flu and bugs, this can also increase susceptibility to chronic illness such as heart disease, hypertension and cancer.
Lower energy levels
Your thoughts can directly impact metabolic rate. If you’re under prolonged stress, you may find the metabolism slows and you become sluggish with less energy than usual. This can also lead to weight gain and in the longer term, illness associated with obesity.
Stress is a short-term response that can lead to long-term anxiety. As the body floods with cortisol, triggers can stimulate the fight or flight response even when there’s no real threat. This ongoing anxiety can severely impact the quality of life even impacting relationships. Elongated period of stress can also lead to nervous breakdowns.
Stress is inevitable. It’s impossible to eliminate it from life entirely, and nor should you want to. But it is possible and important to learn how to manage stress to combat the long-term impact on both mind and body.
Here are Some Effective Stress Management Techniques
Regular exercise is one of the most overlooked pillars of stress management. Exercise and physical activity promote the release of endorphins. The feel-good hormones are natural mood elevators that can leave you feeling happier, calmer and more relaxed regardless of what’s going on in life. Exercise also tires out the body to promote better sleep and rest.
Neuro linguistic programming
After prolonged periods of stress, the brain automatically programs to respond to stressful events in a specific way even if that doesn’t lead to the best outcomes for the body.
Neurolinguistic programming can help stop the negative cycles of thinking by reprogramming the brain to respond in more positive ways to what it perceives as a stressful situation. In as little as two to four sessions (dependant on the patient), NLP can adapt the neuropathways to interrupt the stress response and create a new action.
Hypnotherapy can identify the beliefs that lead to stress and reprogram the subconscious with a new belief system about the situation.
For example, the common belief that a financial crisis is a stressful situation can be replaced with a new attitude that a change in circumstance can lead to you searching for better opportunities. Once the belief system changes, the response can too.
It’s easy for stress to become a way of life that seems impossible to change. Professional coaching can help assess personal and professional situations from an objective point of view. Working with a coach, you can devise strategies on how to move forward and reduce stress gradually but definitively. Whether it’s a relationship, grief, school related anxiety, exam stress, financial issues or professional problems, a coach can help identify the source of the stress and create a pathway to a stress-free future.
Ongoing stress can impact every area of physical and mental health and, as mentioned earlier, enduring stress for elongated periods of time can lead to a nervous breakdown. Overcoming nervous breakdowns can be extremely challenging as extreme levels of anxiety, often the consequence of a breakdown, can lead to reclusive behavious, burnout and serious insecurity issues that can often take significant time to repair.
Don’t delay action to overcome stress. Learn more and start eliminating stresses from your life now. Contact Jade today on 0477 650 000.