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  • Writer's pictureElfreda Manahan-Vaughan

Can you Eliminate Stress from your Life?

For most of us stress is a pretty regular occurrence. There is a difference between acute stress and chronic stress and knowing the difference is important. Acute stress occurs as a normal part of life. It is the body’s response to threat and so the flight or fight mechanism kicks in in the body and we feel nervous or anxious or we experience symptoms such as

• pain,

• headaches,

• IBS,

• rapid heartbeat,

• sweating,

• fatigue.

This is a defence mechanism to help us to survive threat and when functioning normally it is short lived. When we are unable to manage our stress, or the cause of our stress is ongoing, then we move into the realm of chronic stress and the physical and emotional problems give us no respite, which often leads to insomnia, depression, anxiety and a whole myriad of chronic health problems.

As a coach, I regularly help clients who experience both stress and anxiety. A common statement I hear is, ‘this is just the way I am’ and even though they have taken that first step to get help, because they can no longer cope with things as they are, the often fear that they will always stay the same. Not so long ago, I had a client who found work meetings extremely stressful. It was difficult for them to sit through a meeting without being filled with dread as they worried about being asked to speak in front of the group. Another struggled with feeling that there was something wrong with them and that their friends would eventually notice and no longer want them around. These are both forms of anxiety that came about through exposure to stressful situations as well as feeling about one’s abilities and self-worth. Helping each client to identify the beliefs that surrounded their fear as well working towards building confident and resourceful states helped them to handle their stress more effectively.

We all have our triggers, money worries, our weight, relationship problems, raising a family, feelings of inadequacy or feeling not good enough can all cause us to feel stressed and when we repeatedly worry about these things we start to experience anxiety. We can learn to manage these problems differently and so our stress and anxiety decreases. How our mind thinks and how we choose to perceive our problems has a massive impact on how much stress we feel. If it was the same for everyone then we would all experience stress in the same ways from the same things, but we don’t. I often worry about money and in the past I regularly worried about not being good enough. This lead to chronic insomnia, weight issues, unhealthy relationships and much more. The change occurred for me when I made the decision to get help. I did courses in NLP, Hypnosis and CBT, I read books and I started meditating. I also got massages, Reiki treatments and took up exercise, all of which were hugely helpful and may be helpful to you too. You can find a list of the books I read on my website resources page. By looking towards my own needs and acknowledging I needed to change I took charge of my feelings rather than being controlled by outside influences.

The biggest change occurred for me when I learned to change my thinking, and it was then that I started to manage my stress. I used Mindfulness to manage my stress through regular meditation practice and I used it and NLP to change my thinking using reframing as well as identifying limiting beliefs. I was also fortunate to work with some amazing coaches, who helped me overcome the blocks I had in relation to my work, my confidence, and my feelings of self-worth. They also helped me to identify what was stopping me from trusting myself or taking a chance on my happiness. When I experience stress now I am mindful enough to identify the thoughts that precede it. I can ask myself some key questions; about my feelings, what I am trying to control and what I am afraid of, which allows me to be realistic about my stress.

I have learned that stress can be overcome with some dedication and a desire to change for the better. It is possible to manage how you feel, your experiences, and your relationships in a way that allows you to acknowledge stress without letting it overwhelm you and take over your life. The amazing thing too is that the health problems I once had all went away. Life is too short to stay stuck, there is always someone to help you, the biggest step is deciding you are worth it. Thanks for reading, Elfreda

For information on coaching or phone 00353868373582. I take clients face to face or via Skype or Zoom. I can also recommend all my fellow Mind Coaches of the International Association of Mind Coaches, who are located all over the world.

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