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How stressed are you? 

Everyone seems to have a view on stress, it has become so popular. Are you stressed or does it not effect you at all? Do you believe that managing stress is important, or do you think that it is a ‘buzz’ word, used as a convenient excuse? Are you living outside your comfort zone? What is stress any way?

Basically stress is caused by our need to adapt to change. The change can be positive or negative. If we feel uncomfortable about any new situation, or challenge, then we begin to experience stress. It is not the circumstances themselves, but our attitude to them, which causes the symptoms. As soon as we are in a situation that we feel is potentially threatening then our ‘fight or flight’ response switches on. Our breathing rate and heart rate increases, muscles tense up, blood pressure rises and adrenaline and cortisol are released into the blood stream.

In other words we are on full alert. This is a natural reaction that has been with us since primitive times to get us out of danger. The difference is that after the danger was over, primitive man would go back to his hut, sit in front of his fire and switch off again. Then all his bodily systems would return to normal. These days we tend to be switched on, tense and rushed, all the time. Because of the pace and intensity of the lives we lead, we suffer from increasing pressure of work and never seem to be able to take time to really relax and let our bodies re-balance.

We are often told how stress is bad for us, and it is true that excessive stress has many negative effects, but if we

experienced a complete absence of stress we may not put in the extra effort needed to attain our personal goals and desires.

In fact we may not even feel motivated enough to get out of bed in the morning! We can accept that some stress is inevitable and it can also be used to a beneficial effect.

We experience many different types and levels of stress in our lives, eu-stress, often described as ‘good’ stress, the type of stress you may experience if you won the lottery for example (you may not think that coming into alot of money would cause stress, but people who have been in that position report significant stress while dealing with major changes). Dis-stress is when we lose something, or someone, important to us. We feel as if our world is coming to an end. If we constantly experience

levels of stress that are too high for us to cope with, then physical, mental, emotional and energetic symptoms will become increasingly apparent.

So what is the cure? First take an honest look at your life with the help of our stress analysis pages. Then decide which areas of your life need attention. Begin to take steps right now to help yourself to a happier, more fulfilling and healthier life.

Decide on your short and long term goals.
Improve your physical health with sports or exercise, this releases stress and improves self esteem.
Manage your time effectively, get properly organised!
Eat a balanced diet; perhaps include a supplement of ‘B’ vitamins.
Avoid or cut down on stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.
Learn to be assertive, not aggressive.
Don’t take everything so personally.
Remember – everything you do does not need to be perfect, you are only human.
Communicate more clearly with others and yourself.

Life isn’t an emergency. Keep a sense of humour and enjoy the little everyday things that make you smile and provide a sense of comfort and ease.

Most important: learn meditation or deep relaxation techniques, often using relaxing music will help you to achieve this. You may need to listen to a CD or DVD which has been developed to help you to relax, or attend meditation or relaxation classes to learn the basics of the techniques and then make time to practise every day and within a few weeks you should begin to see the results.

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