An article written by Sarah Arnold for the New Economics Foundation states, “74% felt at some point last year they were so stressed that they were unable to cope, and a third of people in Britain have experienced suicidal feelings.” Furthermore, last year 71.1 million pounds of taxpayer money was spent on stress induced or stress related hospital admissions. 

I used to be one of those stressed out employees. Like many of us, I dreamt of having a good, happy and successful life. However, it wasn’t so easy. I had my fair share of bad decisions and failures and also had to deal with being a new mum. I had to change and recognise I was stressed, anxious and exhausted. Does this sound like you? Desperately seeking to be a super mum was causing me to burn out.

An opportunity arose when my family had to transfer to Yorkshire for my husband’s job. I had the idea to start my own network marketing business so I wouldn’t miss watching my son grow up. I quit my senior management position at my corporate job and built the business from the ground up.

I had already been handling a team for about 4 years, but I always felt that there was something missing. Wanting to find a bigger why, a meaningful purpose. This is where I discovered complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) coaching.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) CAM Coaching is based on the premise that the experience of our life is based on our interpretation of the world around us. Thus, if we change our programming, we therefore change our experience of life. When we change our thought patterns, we not only change our reaction towards events, we also change our overall actions and behavior. NLP gives you back the power and provides you with tools to make instant changes in your life.

Today 6 years later, I am a fully certified NLP Life Transformation Coach, author, educator and tutor. My passion is to help as many people as possible grow and develop their well-being.

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive”. – LEE IACOCCA

How to recognise the signs of stress

Acute stress is the most common type of stress. It’s your body’s immediate reaction to a new challenge, event, or demand, and it triggers your fight-or-flight response. As the pressures of a near-miss automobile accident, an argument with a family member, or a costly mistake at work sink in, your body turns on this biological response.

When acute stress happens frequently, it’s called episodic acute stress. People who always seem to be having a crisis tend to have episodic acute stress. They are often short-tempered, irritable, and anxious. People who are “worry warts” or pessimistic or who tend to see the negative side of everything also tend to have episodic acute stress.

Negative health effects are persistent in people with episodic acute stress. It may be hard for people with this type of stress to change their lifestyle, as they accept stress as a part of life.

If acute stress isn’t resolved and begins to increase or lasts for long periods of time, it becomes chronic stress. This stress is constant and doesn’t go away. It can stem from such things as:
– poverty
– a dysfunctional family
– an unhappy marriage
– a bad job

-Chronic stress can be detrimental to your health, as it can contribute to several serious diseases or health risks, such as:

-heart disease, cancer, lung disease, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

What happens to the body during stress?

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
if your stress response doesn’t stop firing it can take a toll on your health such as. irritability, anxiety
depression, headaches, insomnia. Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. 

The 3 stages of stress

Stage 1 (alarm) – cortisol and DHEA become elevated. In usual circumstances this is a temporary reaction and will stop when the stressor has passed.

STRESSED and WIRED Symptoms include: feeling overwhelmed and out of control, fear and panic but not knowing why, paranoia, low self-esteem, low confidence, feeling useless, anxious, fidgety, irritable, out of control, on the edge, nervous, acute pain, migraines, GI problems, acute allergies. These symptoms have usually been experienced for several weeks at this stage.

Stage 2 (resistance) – cortisol remains elevated while DHEA production declines to below normal. WIRED AND TIRED.

Symptoms include: long-term, prolonged stress, weight gain/loss, insomnia, increased comfort eating/alcohol, unhappy, ‘surviving but not thriving’, high blood pressure, apple shaped obesity, excessive sexual drive, addictions, OCD, diabetes, hyper-thyroid, feelings of being ‘hyper and wired’ but frazzled and shattered at the same time. Most people are in this stage at the time of seeking help.

Stage 3 – (exhaustion) – output of cortisol and DHEA is below normal. STRESSED and TIRED.

Symptoms include: ‘burnout’, feelings of ‘enough is enough’, tired all the time, can’t cope, depressed, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), chronic fatigue syndrome, hypo-thyroid, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, low blood pressure, low tolerance to cold, low immunity, low libido. At this stage people have often been signed off work for a month and the GP wants to medicate. Many people are unable to return to work for 3-4 months.

5 ways to deal with stress

Internal self talk. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”). Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress.

Deep Breathing. Count to 10 before you speak. Take three to five deep breaths. Breath in your favourite colour and experience all the emotions of how the colour makes you feel. Breath out the colour you do not like and associate the colour with stress, and blow it away! Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later. Go for a walk. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.

Find Pleasure. When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.

Daily routines. To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi and meditation. Journalling is a great way to mind dump the stress from the day. Writing about your struggles with stress, takes it from your mind to the piece of paper. A great therapeutic experience.

Hire a Life Coach! I use NLP and Hypnosis along with talking therapy to help you deal with your stress, anxiety and fears. Transformational coaching to help you move forwards and create a good balanced life.

To help with every day stress I would like to offer all readers a FREE copy of my guided meditation.

I hope this article has given you the information you need to take on stress and win!

Hayley Austin AMACPPH NLP Life Transformation Coach.