Hints & Tips to help you deal with Anxiety, Depression & Stress.
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TB Talks: Your December Newsletter
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Positively Stressful?

NHS Choices defines Stress as : "...the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure", stating that "Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else."

So if stress derives from feeling that there is too much pressure, rather than the pressure itself, what can you do? Here's where Stress Management begins;

In essence, Stress Management falls into two categories, either reduce the pressure or increase your ability to cope.

This can lead to some interesting ideas as well as the more traditional remedies.
As always, feel free to share TBTalks with family, friends and colleagues.

How big a problem is Stress?

Stress has a bad press. According to the Health and Safety Executive, there were 9.9 million days taken off sick sue to stress in 2014/15. This is a staggering 43% off all sick days. Stress is a big issue.

There are many websites and therapists out there who can help you manage your stress levels. There are many relaxation techniques, diets and exercise regimes all of which can improve you ability to cope with stress. I've even included a free mp3 of my own in this newsletter to help manage stress

As you know, I specialise in helping clients with Anxiety, Depression and Stress. Whilst many clients come to me because they are under too much stress, what they actually have difficulty coping with is the anxiety, depression or shear mental exhaustion that they experience alongside the stress. It seems that the stress itself isn't the problem.

This fits in with the NHS Choices definition in that the negativity in stress isn't the stress itself, it's way we handle it. 

So this first section helps you manage the negative effects of stress and later I'll take you through some novel ways of changing how you experience the stress itself.

Hints and Tips to help manage stress


1. Take some exercise.

Try to raise your heart rate gently for 30 minutes at least every other day. This could be anything from a brisk walk to jogging, going to the gym, swimming and so on. Not only does it put those stress hormones to good use, it's good for your health and fitness too. Research show that both of these can benefit your ability to cope.

2. Eat a healthier diet.

Even small changes can help. We often find that in stressful times, we eat 'comfort food'. Much of this derives from our unconscious mind associating certain types of food with being cared for and looked after. Many of us default back to chocolate, biscuits, cakes, chips, fast food as these take us back to childhood when someone was looking after us. 

3. Make time to relax

Deliberately taking time out to relax helps you mind and your body to recover. You could try listening to music, reading, yoga, listen to a relaxation mp3.
Be aware - television, computers/laptops/tablets etc don't provide relaxation. They work more like a pause-button. You might stop thinking about the stress but it doesn't actually help you recover.

4. Mindfulness

There's a lot of research about how mindfulness can help you cope. There's an excellent website, which some people find really helpful alongside therapy. If meditation is for you, then this is a good place to look.

5. Check out the next section of this newsletter.

It can help to find other ways of thinking about stress. If you think about your own stresses differently, then the stresses themselves change. Done in a positive way, this can dramatically reduce the negative effects of your stress

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Rethinking Stress

If you have the ability to cope with the pressures you face, then those pressures become positive stress. It all boils down to how much meaning the pressure has for you and how much control you exert over it.

Positive stress is something which can motivate you to perform beyond your usual levels. Often we think of this as being a work-related issue where some people appear to thrive whilst others fall by the wayside. Positive stress extends to the world of sports too, think of any major sporting event and there are individuals and teams that have lifted themselves beyond anything they've done before. Where do you think World Records come from? It's positive stress in action.

Positive stress can enhance our personal lives too. There are plenty of people who cope with extremely difficult situations and even seem to come out of it better than before. 

So what can you do to give yourself more chance of dealing with your own pressures in a positive way?

1. Control the things you can control

  • Actively decide if there is something you could do about the situation.
  • If there is, decide whether you will do it or whether you won't do it. 
  • Do it (or don't do it). Either way, you are in control.
  • If there isn't anything you can do, then there is nothing to control anyway.

2. Change your thinking

This is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it
  • Listen to what you say / think
  • Change "I have to ..." into "I'm choosing to..."
  • Change "I need to ..." into "I want to..."
  • Change "I must..." into "I'd like to..."
This is more than slight of hand (or mouth). There are two powerful actions at work here.
Firstly, you are the person you listen to most. What you say and think has a massive effect on how you feel. Tell yourself you have choice.
Secondly, there is almost nothing that you absolutely have/must/need to do. Almost everything has a choice attached. The reality is that we tend to frame a choice based on negative consequences as something we don't have a choice over. Simply acknowledging that this choice exists increases our sense of control.

3. Build in time to recover your energy.

Dealing with pressure, even positive pressure, takes energy. So make sure you find ways to maintain and boost your reserves. Often these are the same steps that also help you deal with negative stress, so take another look here


4. Stress isn't dangerous - how we think about stress is dangerous

Early research on stress seemed to prove that stress was bad for us. As a consequence we have been brought up to think of stress as a dangerous effect of modern life. Stress leads to heart disease, stress leads to high blood pressure, stress leads to strokes; there is a long list of the bad things that stress can do to us.
BUT modern research indicates that it is the belief that stress is bad which is really harmful to our health.
It seems that the people who suffer ill effects from stress do so far more because they believe stress is bad than they do from the stress itself! 
Simply calling this widely held belief into question can dramatically improve your ability to deal with stress.

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Stress Relief

It's important to find ways to relieve the stress and take your time to recuperate. This 10 minute hypnotic mp3 is specially designed to help you do just that.

Listen at least once a day for 2 weeks and notice the differences in your thinking and how you feel.

Important: this mp3 uses powerful hypnotic trance states. Do not listen to this mp3 whilst driving or doing anything that requires your attention.

Click on the Quiet Beach image below to go to my website and download the mp3 at no charge.

Alternatively, use this link: Stress Relief

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Please feel free to get in touch with me and discuss whether Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help you find a more fulfilling way of living your life. Happiness really can be just around the corner.
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