Recognising Stress Part 2

Recently I wrote an article on stress.  In the article I wrote about a breathing exercise which can help with stress and also becoming aware of stress.  I asked if anyone had any questions.  Well it appears they did!  I have picked one in particular which I believe could be the most helpful for other people too:

QUESTION

“Thank you for the breathing exercise, I have been struggling with the pressures of work and everyday life recently but until I read your article hadn’t really thought much about it.  When I tried the breathing exercise I certainly did notice an “awareness” after a few days.  I realised that I was slower than usual, both physically and mentally.  I realised that I did not have a lot of motivation to do things that I normally would and when I did them, it was quite half-hearted.  I realised that I had been like that for quite a while!  Once I realised how I was being affected I was able to take steps to reduce it.  I started to slow things down a little and not put myself under so much pressure to “get things done” and worrying when I didn’t.  This actually helped me to get more done!  After nearly 2 weeks now of practising I would say, most days, I feel much calmer and more in control of my life again.  Thank you!  I would like to ask a question though, is there any way to prevent yourself from becoming stressed in the first place

ANSWER

Thank you for your question! A great question and a question that I would love to be able to answer with a resounding “YES!” However, to overcome stress means not to never experience it  again but rather to understand what the underlying cause of the stress is, for example, “my work causes me stress”.  However,just “knowing” that, is not enough to get rid of the stress and whilst the breathing exercise will help in the moment and for a “period” of time after, it does not diminish the stress completely. The next step would be to understand exactly WHAT it is about work that causes the stress?  Is it your boss?   Is it your work load?  Is it your time management?  Is it your work targets or is it just that its very busy?  Maybe it’s a combination!  In that case, take one issue at a time.  Let’s use “I get stressed at work because it is very busy”. Stress is fear based, so ask yourself this question: It feels stressful when it is busy at work because I am worried/scared/afraid/fearful of….?  Write the answers down.  What did you come up with?  1 thing, many things?  Nothing? If you came up with nothing, you need to practise some more self-awareness.  As you are working,consciously make the effort to just notice how you are feeling and ask yourself the question, “Why do I feel this way”?  “What am I worried is going to happen”?  Once you realise what it is you are afraid of, you immediately feel less afraid,sometimes it’s enough to remove the fear completely.  If there is still fear, ask yourself the question, “What can I do to reduce this fear”? Once your mind begins to come up with solutions then you see the stress disappear.  It can just be as simple as re-organising your time or the realisation that the fear is unnecessary.  Keeping with the regular breathing exercises and moving on into practicing meditation helps to answer and keep stock on our thoughts feelings and emotions. 

If you would like to learn more about coping with stress then please drop me a line:  info@charlottes-effective-therapies.comIf you would like more focused help with your stress or anxiety then please contact me on info@charlottes-effective-therapies.comor  0034 654931886.  For more information, you can also go to: www.charlottes-effective-therapies.com