Stress piles up in your body and your mind, and messes with your health!

Posted · Add Comment

Study findings[1] collected over a 10 year period show that seemingly minor emotional reactions (anxiety, anger, sadness) to the same everyday stressors resulted in more than half of study subjects having mental health issues.

What happens is that we react to an event with stress – usually these events are ‘minor’ in the great scheme of things – they can be . . .

  • Frustration because last minute our boss gives us more work to do
  • Annoyance that we have to wait overly long on that supermarket check-out queue
  • Anger at someone cut in front of us in traffic
  • Fear because we forgot do so something and now are not sure we can finish on time
  • Upset at a friend who was rude or made a joke at our expense

And during our day there can be many more to add to this list. The emotions we experience as a result of the stressor start to accumulate. If you track your emotional stress life over the week, you will notice that the same emotions will be come up again and again.

And with each event, our reaction gets that little bit more intense. You may not even notice consciously for years how it builds up, your body will notice though unexplained tensions, stiffness where you do not expect it, more frequent illnesses such as colds or stomach upsets and/or increased tiredness and weariness no matter how much you sleep.

Because stress starts in the mind, the body alone often cannot get rid of it. It just stores the emotional charges released as a response to the stressor for next time, and then adds to them. Exercise gets rid of some of the compacted emotional stress piles, but often a residue remains. They key is work with both body and mind to change our habitual response to stress triggers.

Here are two ways to deal with everyday recurring stressors:

  1. Stop the stress load mind and body, and start reducing the stress dung heap!

If you have not cleaned your house for a number of week (or even years) the layers of dirt will be significant. So is your stress load in the body. You have to start somewhere and ideally, every day, to ensure the accumulated daily stress is released.

Approaches that I personally found to be very beneficial for this are:

  • Breathing practices
  • Mindfulness / meditation – walking meditation or other meditations that support emotional flow
  • Qi Gong, Yoga or Tai Chi – anything that mindful and has movement in it
  • Any other exercise – as long you do not put pressure on yourself to get it right or to achieve a specific fitness goal
  • Walking outside – can be fast or slow – you will know what works for you
  • Craniosacral therapy – I found this to be very re-balancing for the whole body, mind, emotion system

Not every technique or approach works for everyone. Go with the ones that work for you.

And, if you feel you are too stressed and wound up to wind down and relax, you are not the only one who is has ever felt like this. Be gentle with yourself, and take a small step each day towards a daily practice and will notice the difference.

  1. Neutralise the stressors

This is about preventing the stressors triggering harmful emotions in you. What stresses you, may not affect others in the same way. A lot of people around us often don’t even notice those events that stress us; they, of course, will have other stressors that in turn do not affect us.

Stress tends to start in the mind with:

  • Beliefs
  • Unconscious programming
  • Expectations
  • Inner conflict
  • Social and Personal Boundaries

All these by themselves are not a problem. They become one when there is a significant emotional charge attached to the belief, the expectations or our boundaries being ignored, not met, or violated, and we are not able for whatever reason to get what we want or need. Some stress triggers are very valid as they propel us into action. Yet others are outdated and no longer needed, e.g. having to have everything just so or needing things done now, are ones we cannot act on or have to let go on a regular basis. These still cause us a stressful experience and usually are the ones were the stress gets accumulated over time.

The great thing is that the emotions you experience when you are triggered are also the signal that stress is occurring. Becoming aware of those emotions, being able to express them to yourself and potentially others, and identify what is going on internally for you is the first step towards lasting change.

Some great ways to release those trapped emotions and neutralise those stressors and stress triggers are

  • NLP & Energetic NLP to unearth, challenge and transform those, now, unuseful beliefs, unconscious programming and inner conflicts
  • TFT or EFT (although be careful with EFT to not install anything you do not want if you are using other people’s scripts)
  • Forms of meditation to notice thought patterns and let them go consciously
  • Qi Gong to strengthen and understand one’s boundaries
  • Craniosacral Therapy

Key is to own your emotions and accept them as they are at the time, not make them wrong or judge yourself.

To discover how we can help, click on WellBeing and check out our Wellbeing and Stress Management services.

Contact us to find out more.

 

[1] Reference: The wear and tear of daily stressors on mental health, Prof. Susan Charles, Psychological Science, March 2013.

Leave a Reply