The British Medical Journal has announced the results of a large scale study has revealing that there is a correlation between even relatively minor mental health issues such as stress and anxiety and premature mortality. I can’t say I find this particularly surprising, but it’s interesting to have one’s natural instincts verified by scientific research!
What do we mean by 'stress'?
We talk about ‘feeling stressed’ but often what we’re really describing is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms – these can be different in different people, but common ones are headaches, tension in the neck and shoulders, churning stomach or feeling sick, sleeplessness – or the opposite – extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, irritability, weepiness etc. If we ignore them, and don’t deal effectively with the cause of the stress, the symptoms can become chronic and it’s not surprising that they have a negative impact on our overall health. An unfortunately common reaction to stress and anxiety symptoms is to resort to alcohol or drugs - which, while they may make you feel better for a short while, can obviously increase the risks to your health if they become a regular habit.
So what can you do about it?
There’s lots you can do to combat stress, and NLP has a number of excellent techniques. The first thing is to be aware of your symptoms – listen to your body. Notice where and when you feel the stress most. What is causing the stress? Is it something you can avoid (a different mode of transport to work for
example) or, more likely, something you could avoid if you re-evaluate your priorities and have a look at your work/life balance?
If it’s something that you really can’t avoid, then the next thing to look at is your reaction to it. There are techniques to help you change the way you react to a particular stimulus so that you can interrupt and stop the onset of the stress or anxiety symptoms. This will enable you to look at and deal with the‘stressful’ situation from a different, and potentially more effective perspective. In addition to reacting to and dealing with ‘stressful’ situations differently, and preventing their onset through careful planning, there are also lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce stress across the board - for example regular exercise and relaxation.
Stress and anxiety can both be very uncomfortable feelings, as well as damaging to your health. NLP coaching can help you identify the causes of your ‘stressy’ symptoms and look at ways to manage them.