By Jenny Gould []
Stress Management Consultant, cognitive behavioural and clinical hypno-therapist, coach.

It’s National Stress Awareness Week, so what better time to take a long hard look at how stress might be affecting you. We know that stress is on the rise – all the research tells us that. Whilst we have less hardship and disease than our forefathers, the pace of life today is phenomenal and that brings with it a host of different problems. As nature’s ‘fight or flight’ response, stress is very effective if we need to fight or run for our lives, but not so appropriate in a traffic jam or an argument with the boss! When stress builds up and becomes chronic, it affects our health (75% of all visits to the doctor are considered to be stress related), our work, our relationships and our ability to enjoy life.

So what can be done about it? If you feel that stress is affecting you badly, as well as visiting your GP, you might like to consider seeing a coach or therapist for some help. Best to take action before you get to that ‘burn’ out stage!

Here are my top tips for beating stress:-

  1. Catch tension early. Be aware of your early signs – furrowed brow, tight shoulders, feeling irritable …..and do something about it before it builds up. Tune in to your body regularly.
  2. Stop and breathe. Take 5 slow, deep breaths into your abdominal area. Every time you breath out relax your shoulders a little more. As you do, tell yourself …‘relax now’.
  3. Stand back and take stock. Regain perspective and lighten up. Does it really matter? What’s important here?
  4. Give yourself a good talking to. If you find yourself worrying and fretting – tune into your thoughts. Are they helpful, or are you winding yourself up? Try saying to yourself ‘ Stop this!‘.…‘ what the heck!’ ….’forget it’…
  5. Speak up. Say clearly what you want; ask for help or support, delegate; learn to say ‘No’!
  6. Imagine something pleasant. Maybe a holiday location, a spring garden, or lying on a warm beach. Bring it to life, make it vivid.
  7. Laugh. Have some fun, sing loudly, watch your favourite comedy. Do whatever makes you laugh – it’s a great stress buster!
  8. Walk. Moving your body counteracts stress. Go for a quick invigorating walk, dance, stretch…
  9. Prioritise. Ask ‘what’s the best use of my time right now?’ and then focus on that. Perhaps you need to do some planning instead of running around like a headless chicken!
  10. Take time out to relax. Find somewhere quiet to be alone. Take a hot bath, listen to a relaxation CD , read a good book, pamper yourself!

It’s your responsibility to look after yourself – you’re the only person who can!

For more information, or to book an appointment with Jenny Gould please ring the clinic on 01865 558561 and a friendly receptionist will be able to help you.

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