We all know the consequences of excessive stress and the impact it can have on our family, work life, relationships and physical and mental health. But can you recognise the signs of stress in yourself? And do you know what to do about it? All too often we turn to unhelpful strategies to help us to manage our stress, such as drinking or eating too much or misusing other substances.

Stress can affect the immune system, lowering our resistance to disease. There are also some common ailments associated with stress such as headaches and stomach ulcers. Research shows that the flight or fight mechanism that serves to protect us is triggered when we are stressed, causing the release of adrenalin into the blood stream.  However, if this state of stress is prolonged then the body’s immune system can be impaired, and illness and disease may follow.

Self-hypnosis/meditation can be an extremely helpful way of managing stress. As soon as you notice the first signs, simply STOP – Start To Observe Purposefully. Challenge yourself for the reasons why you are feeling stressed and ask what you can do about it. Sometimes a simple focus on breathing or feeling your feet on the floor, writing down your feelings or taking time out, putting on some music or going for a short walk is all that is needed to re-centre and get things in perspective.

Start to manage your stress today and give yourself permission to STOP…