Okay so nobody is suggesting that we actually become mates with stress, unless of course we’re talking about the type of stress that can be our buddy. I’m thinking of a good exercise workout, resistance training, going for a run were the heart pumps harder, my favourite ‘Zumba’, and as with all these things as the sweat glistens then the body and mind can receive all the benefits of a natural high as we are flooded with the positive hormones called endorphins. And it’s funny isn’t it how one person moves away from what (s)he perceives as a negative stress, whilst another person will move towards the same stressor because (s)he finds it exhilarating and exciting (think tandem-jumping out of a plane! ) Here it’s the meaning we give to the event that matters, our personal perception, and the meaning we give that event in that moment.
So what would change if we could understand a little more about the cause and effect of those not so nice stressors, which lead to persistent worry, stress and anxiety? I know from my media and corporate worlds that where people experience a high pressurised environment, some may be silently suffering from health aliments including high blood pressure, digestive disorders or insomnia. This is because pressures within those environments based on expectation can cause a build up of a stress hormone called cortisol which can exacerbate those types of maladies.
Just like everyday 21st century modern living; if people struggle with worry because they focus on the negatives of the past, or fears from an imagined future it contributes to triggering within the body a primitive need for survival, otherwise known as the fight, flight or freeze response. The brain searches for explanation and resolution resulting in a cycle of persistent unhelpful thoughts and the body responds. In some cases people talk of irrational behaviour, irritability or anger which then impacts on how they relate to others. When we lack the understanding of what is a natural process and how we can start to help ourselves, then it can really stoke the embers of so many personal limiting beliefs. “I can’t cope”… “I’m not good enough”…etc…etc…
And of course, within the context of a life, every person has a different process in how they experience their problem. That’s where additional help through seeing a Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapist can play a significant role in helping you to get better.
But back to some general self-help tips…
The other day I was taking a look through some of the things in my tool kit which many people have found useful. Practical tools, or if your willing to use your imagination, tricks within the mind that can influence your ability to combat the effects of debilitating worry as a causation for stress and anxiety. So we know that physical exercise is a great way of reducing bad stress and bringing on the good stuff. When it comes to the mind, there’s a great opportunity to include a few easy strategies, in order to help calm everything down – lowering stress and giving us the potential for thinking that bit more clearer, helping us find solutions and giving us greater peace of mind.
Here’s a few general tips that people have found helpful:
Set aside ‘worry time’…
It’s interesting that when we are hungry or tired and in a low mood then worries can take on an even darker persona. Many people have found that jotting their concerns down as they occur, then setting them aside to be reviewed in specific worry time, say 20 minutes only in the day can work magic. Ensuring that time is after a meal, after a good night’s sleep or after at least 20 minutes of a good exercise workout, helps with clarity of mind in creating a series of solution steps – and the self-promise to take one action a day.
Writing down worries can help people to review them more objectively. Asking yourself questions like:
- “I am worried about…”
- “The worst that could happen is…”
- “The best that could happen is…”
- “Things I can do now are”…
Create a possibility and probability box (Trick of the mind)…
If you’re in the habit of turning events that are very unlikely to happen into events that are likely to happen.
- Imagine if you had inside your mind a small container the size of a thimble with the word ‘POSSIBILITY’ written on it, and on the right side a large container the size of your living room with ‘PROBABILITY’ written on it.
- When you get anxious about something which has a ‘small’ likelihood of happening, then it means that something that should be in the small container has snuck into the large container and your mind is treating it as a probability.
- If that happens imagine taking a look in the large container, finding the worrying thought, removing it and shrinking it in size putting it firmly in the small container.
- Finally put back in the large container the thought that ‘EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT OKAY’.
When you find yourself becoming anxious or worrying about an outcome take five minutes looking in the probability container to see if any possibilities have sneaked in there. Find it, shrink it down really small, put it in the possibility container and replace it with the probability of what is likely to happen.
We’re all different in what we can find to be of most help, and it’s an opportunity for you to get creative, as they say ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ – so what have you got to lose by trying?
The Journey ahead…
Sometimes we need professional help and guidance, and this is best served by someone who will treat you with respect and have the capabilities and experience to construct a treatment plan that is unique to your needs. Working with you in an alliance which helps you recover from stress, anxiety or low mood.
Very often people say to me that they just want to be able to lead a normal life, free of the pain or behaviour caused by worry, unwarranted stress or anxiety. Whatever the context of your story you could find Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy an alternative that’s right for you.
To arrange for a no-obligation conversation giving you the opportunity to take one single step towards that positive change, it’s now…