Sometimes too little stimulation can result in the stress of boredom or “RUST OUT”. However, mostly we experience stress because of too high expectations and work “overload” which goes on too long, causing “BURN OUT” or “PRESSURE STRESS”. Also, a new situation which people think they cannot cope with successfully can produce a sense of being out of control. Counselling can help us to become more aware and able to identify what might help and support us through this.
SOME STRESS IS IMPOSED ON US FROM OUTSIDE BUT OFTEN STRESS COMES FROM INSIDE OF US.
Some common symptoms of stress include an increase in tension, headaches, feeling irritable or bad tempered, rapid heartbeat, feeling sick, shakiness, dizziness, indigestion, fear related sexual difficulties, butterflies in your stomach, dry mouth, back pain, cold sweats, clammy hands, crying for no apparent reason and difficulty in sleeping. Stress can also cause us to want to spend too much time “numbing out” from life or “over stimulating” ourselves on: drink, drugs, cigarettes, television, people, work, food, coffee and any other addictive behaviours.
TALKING KINDLY TO OURSELVES AND
BELIEVING IN OUR MANY ABILITIES AND STRENGTHS
HELPS US WORK AND LIVE MORE EFFECTIVELY.
THINGS YOU CAN DO NOW:
- SIT QUIETLY AND COMFORTABLY WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED AND IMAGINE YOURSELF LYING OR SITTING IN A FAVOURITE, REAL OR IMAGINERY PLACE OUT IN NATURE. AS YOU RELAX IN THIS PLACE, ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL HELD BY THE EARTH BELOW YOU AND CONNECT WITH THE SOUNDS, SCENTS, COLOURS AND TEXTURES IN THIS PLACE. NOTICE YOUR BREATHING IN AND YOUR BREATHING OUT ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE PRESENT TO THIS EXPERIENCE FOR 5 OR 10 MINUTES.
- MAKE YOUR WORKING SPACE MORE ATTRACTIVE SO THAT YOU ARE ENERGISED:
- DISPLAY A POSTER OR A POSTCARD YOU LOVE; A PLANT; CLEAR ENOUGH SPACE TO WORK EFFECTIVELY, SURROUND YOURSELF WITH COLOURS YOU LOVE; HAVE MUSIC YOU LIKE ACCESSIBLE; KEEP AN OBJECT NEARBY THAT MAKES YOU SMILE; TAKE TIME OUT FROM THIS SPACE TO HAVE BREAKS AND A CHANGE OF SCENE.
- TAKE 15 MINUTES DURING YOUR DAY TO DANCE TO YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC OR SING TO YOURSELF IN THE SHOWER (YES, THERE IS TIME);
- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOME FRESH AIR WHEREVER YOU ARE. SLEEP WITH ACCESS TO FRESH AIR. STEP OUTSIDE AND NOTICE HOW THE SKY LOOKS, WHAT THE WEATHER IS DOING, CONNECT WITH THE NATURAL WORLD IN SOME WAY.
- TRY SOMETHING NEW THAT IS CREATIVE. IT COULD BE PAINTING, SCULPTING, SEWING, DRAWING, DRAMA, PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, PHOTOGRAPHY, GARDENING, POTTERY, WRITING, COOKING, COLOURFUL DOODLING. ASK A FRIEND ALONG TO JOIN YOU. TAKE A CLASS WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE ENCOURAGING. EXPRESSING OURSELVES CREATIVELY IS ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY…IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD HEALTH AND WELL BEING. SO MANY PEOPLE DON’T BELIEVE IN THEIR CREATIVE ABILITIES. THIS IS VERY SAD. SOMETIMES IT IS FUN JUST TO HAVE A GO. WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO DO, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT, THE POINT IS TO EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT WAY OF EXPRESSING YOURSELF. ENJOY!
- MASSAGE – ANY KIND OF MASSAGE IS WONDERFULLY RELAXING AND YOU COULD DO A FOOT OR HAND MASSAGE SWOP WITH A FRIEND, PARTNER OR FAMILY MEMBER. SOME CHILDREN LOVE TO HAVE THEIR FEET MASSAGED WHEN THEY AREN’T WELL. GIVING AND RECEIVING A MASSAGE CAN BE EQUALLY RELAXING
- SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO ENERGISE OR RELAX YOU – LAUGHTER IS A GREAT ‘STRESS EATER’. NOTICE WHO AND WHAT GIVES YOU ENERGY AND WHO OR WHAT DRAINS YOU OF ENERGY.
I’d love to hear from you about other positive and helpful ideas that help us to release stress.