Stress Management

Stress is  a natural response and it is actually known as Stress Response, which manifest its self as Fight, Flight, and some times freeze response.  Stress response, is an inbuilt primitive survival instinct program. 

Let  us consider what Dr. Hans Selye and late Virginia Satir, said about stress:  It is not what is happening to you but how you cope with it.

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And because the stress response is an instinctive response from our body, released by our reptilian brain, known as the Amygdala, which is located right down at the back and bottom of the brain.  It is a completely subconscious response, which happens instantly when we are faced with a dangerous situation.  Our subconscious mind automatically wants to protect us.  In these unlikely situations we don’t have time to think about what we’re going to do… we just do it!  It’s a survival mechanism, and what happens is: sometimes there is an initial “freeze” reaction – the brain stimulates hormonal changes, and stress hormones are released. Blood is then diverted from relatively unimportant areas, e.g. stomach & face to muscles of arms & legs, which tense, ready for action, which is why we become pale when frightened; mouth goes dry, sphincter opens, and pupils dilate.

Sugar & fat are released into the bloodstream to increase energy in the muscles, the heart rate increases to move blood quickly around the body, blood pressure increases, and the immune system slows down, breathing accelerates to bring more oxygen into the body, and sweating occurs in anticipation of expending extra energy to cool the body down which are obvious symptoms of most fears, anxiety and panic attack.  When the required action is taken, or the stressor  (factors of stress) is removed, endorphins are produced and the stress subsides. 

However, there is one problem with all of this, It’s very rare nowadays that we are actually confronted with a lion, a tiger, or even a shark.  But, our brain has not evolved as fast as our modern society, and the stressors we experience are usually not life- threatening. 

 

Stressors (those things which stress us) in modern life are usually things like work, school & university, meeting deadlines, family, relationships, noise, pollution, traffic, sick building syndrome &  so on. 

Although the stress response is useful in emergencies and acute situations isn’t suited to the typical stressors we experience in modern life.  Our primitive ancestors were often confronted with the sorts of challenges and threats that required extra strength and energy, so they could respond physically to ensure their survival.  But if we were to punch our boss or run away from our families, we’d probably find ourselves in quite a bit of trouble!

Although life has changed considerably, our body’s response has not, and if the required action is not taken, the endorphins are not released, the stressor is not removed, so the stress does not subside. 

This means that our bodies are in a permanent state of stress (to a greater or lesser degree), and stress is considered to be a triggering factor in the onset of almost every major illness, including many that we think of as being the direct result of infection or viruses.  The key to this relationship seems to be the effect of stress on the auto-immune, or self-defence system of the body.

What can you do to manage stress?  During therapy you will learn a lot including:-

  1. Relaxation Response.
  2. External orientation.
  3. Internal orientation.
  4. Adopt a healthy life style.
  5. Living with a purpose and meaning of life.
  6. Improving the Environment.
  7. Adopting mind and body work such as,
    • Journaling.
    • Drawing and Genograms.
    • Affirmation and autosuggestion.

 


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