Some level of stress and anxiety are a necessary part of life. They are a part of what motivates us to progress in life, create things, earn a living and ensure our safety. When anxiety becomes overwhelming and constant, it can be harming to our well being, our health as well as our quality of life. Even small every day stresses can wear us down when experienced regularly and constantly.
How the Body Responds to Stress
When the body is challenged by almost anything that happens to us, from getting out of bed in the morning or running up a flight of stairs or having to stand up and give a talk, the brain activates the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This is an involuntary system of nerves which controls and stimulates the output of two hormones, cortisol from the adrenal cortex and adrenalin from the adrenal medulla.
When it comes to managing stress, the body will either go into fight, flight or freeze mode.
- Fight Mode: some tend to become angry agitated or keyed up under stress. Living in the mode long term may cause extreme damage to adrenal glands and effect health, state of well being and quality of life. For this type of response, it is helpful to take on stress relief activities that will help calm down the nervous system.
- Flight Mode: Some may tend to become withdrawn, depressed or isolate themselves during times of stress. For this type of response it would be helpful to take on activities the will stimulate and energise the nervous system.
- Freeze Mode: Some may retreat, loose energy and find they unable to move forward during times of stress. For this type of person it would be helpful to take on activities that will recharge and energise the nervous system.
When we activate the fight, flight or freeze mode, this is nature’s way of preparing us to meet a challenge or a threat. A serious threat such as meeting a man eating tiger stimulates a pattern of physiologic reflexes in your body designed to help us survive.
Our heart rate and blood pressure increase, our muscles tense in anticipation of running or fighting. Our blood is shunted away from your skin and digestive organs into your muscles and clotting is activated so you can stop bleeding quickly in case of injury. Our pupils open wide, and all of our senses are sharpened. Adrenaline and other stress-related hormones are pumped into our bloodstream to provide with extra energy.
All of these biological changes occur for survival, so imagine what is going on in the body if you are in constant fight or flight mode.
The most important step you can take to help you move through this period in your life is to talk to someone. Talking about your stress with a compassionate, non judgmental and caring person will make you release the heavy burdens you may be carrying.
Hypnosis and Relaxation is often used to alleviate levels of distress and anxiety. During a deep state of relaxation, certain therapeutic techniques can be used to review reasons for anxiety and reduce their intensity.
My Philosophy is to provide a therapeutic, nurturing and supportive environment to explore your experience of stress.
In particular we will look at the individual biological, psychological and social influences. Some of the therapies I work with include:
- Mind Body Therapy
- Insight Therapy
- Emotion Focused Therapy
- Mindfulness and Acceptance Therapy
- Visualisation and Relaxation Techniques
- Yogi Philosophy