Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD). Why do we need a special day to remind us of how stressed we are, you ask? YouGov recently carried out a poll for the TUC, in which two thirds of workers said that their workload had increased in recent years and that working is more stressful than ever. We might have imagined this to be the case due to all the restructuring and cuts in recent years. Last month, the Health and Safety Executive said that almost half a million people suffered work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the last financial year. These are scary figures, I am sure you will agree.
The 3 Types of Stress
1. Acute Stress
This is the most common of all the kinds of stress.
It is prompted by recent upsets and worries and by worries and pressures in the future… Do you recognise this? Examples of the causes are:
- disagreements with colleagues
- when our children suffer occasional problems at school
- losing a contract
- overdue or unexpected bills
As it is short-term, it usually doesn’t usually result in permanent damage.
Symptoms of acute stress include:
- emotional distress; anger, irritability, depression and anxiety
- muscular aches and pains; tension headaches, back ache, jaw pain and muscular tension (musculoskeletal disorders)
- IBS, stomach and bowel problems; constipation diaorrhea, heartburn
- situations of acute stress can lead to raised blood pressure, increased heart beat, sweaty palms, migraines headaches, chest pain
Everyone has periods of acute stress – it will pass and can be managed using relaxation and self-hypnosis!
2. Episodic Acute Stress
This is acute stress, which is experienced more frequently. Life seems to move from one drama to the another without a gap of calm in between. This occurs when you take on too much so you are always rushing and always late. Things seem to often go wrong.
This causes out of proportion reactions, a short temper, irritability and anxiety. This can result in defensiveness. Personal relationships are at risk and work and home lives become increasingly stressful.
Another kind of acute episodic stress comes from constant worry.
People who are worrying constantly always envisage the worst outcomes. Often this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. These “worriers” also tend to be very tense.
Symptoms of acute episodic stress include
- persistent tension headaches
- high blood pressure
- can even lead to heart disease
This kind of stress because of its “ingrainedness” can be harder to shift, but it can be done with persistence and hypnotherapy can really help here.
It is a really good idea to do something about your feelings before it gets to:
3. Chronic Stress
It is a well known fact that chronic stress damages bodies, minds and emotions.It is the stress caused by permanent situations which the sufferer feels they cannot change.
Chronic stress happens when a person feels hopeless but recovery is possible… with self help and sometimes professional help is needed to unravel the causes and advice on how to start the small steps that are needed to feel better.
The more experience I gain working with people helping them to make positive changes in their lives, the more I find that it is how you perceive your situation that is key. Watch this video as all this doom and gloom can be rectified.
Kelly McGonigal is a Stanford University psychologist. Her recent TED Talk suggests that people who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die. In fact, they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including people who had relatively little stress. Hypnotherapy can be so good at helping people change their perceptions of their feelings and also past events.
Also, “people who spend time caring for others showed absolutely no stress-related increase in dying. They create resilience”. So be kind to each other, not just on National Stress Awareness Day.