23rd April 2021

How you can feel in control

Stress and Anxiety ReliefHow you can untangle your mind and feel in control.

Is stress/anxiety taking over your day?

Are you wanting to wake up from a good night’s sleep and feel more energetic and in control?

Then read on.

What is stress?

Stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.

(Source: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk)

Examples of stress:

Death of a loved one.
Divorce.
Loss of job.
Losing your home.
Planning wedding.
New baby.
Learning new job.
Increased workload.
Relationship issues.
Money issues.
Addictions.
Demanding/pressurised job role.
Moving home.

Can you recognise any of these in yourself?

How do I know I am stressed?

You may be experiencing some of the following:

Loss of appetite.

Increased appetite (emotional eating).

Trouble sleeping.

Sleeping too much due to exhaustion.

Feeling irritable with family, partner or work colleagues.

Have a feeling of being unorganised or unprepared.

Working longer hours to get everything done.

Running late for work.

Choosing unhealthy foods.

Drinking more alcohol than you normally would.

Feeling paranoid that you have always forgotten something.

How stress affects your everyday life:

That’s just it.

It can affect everything.

Feeling stressed can stop you from living and enjoying the present. You are constantly in survival mode. You stop noticing pleasant things around you and instead are focused on the next potentially stressful situation.

Your friendships and relationships start to suffer.

You start becoming forgetful because your mind is consumed with racing thoughts and ‘what ifs?’

You start skipping the gym and healthy habits as they feel like a step too far when all you can concentrate on is the very next potentially stressful point in the day.

It saps all of your mental and physical strength.

You become drained.

Constantly.

What are the signs of emotional stress?

You can become:

Short-tempered with the seemingly simple things in life. When you are driving you
to become instantly annoyed by slow drivers, or irritated by somebody not answering a call.

Your self-esteem suffers due to you neglecting yourself. You may start to feel unfit and lethargic due to missing your fitness classes or the gym. You cancel your spa and pamper sessions because you ‘don’t have time for that anymore’.

Low mood. You may feel like there’s no joy in life anymore. Things that once made
you laugh, no longer do. You may feel stale.

Feeling forgetful. Due to rushing around trying to get everything done, you may start to feel like you are forgetting simple things; like birthdays, promises to make phone calls, keep appointments etc.

Agitated. You may feel constantly ‘on edge’ even when you are alone.

Feeling emotional (often close to tears). The slightest thing may ‘set you off’ and you feel like breaking down.

What does stress feel like?

You may feel dizzy with the racing thoughts running through your mind. A feeling of nausea may feel all-consuming. When you feel stressed, this may also affect your sex drive and drive a divide between you and your partner. In general, you may feel like your life is running away from you.

What are 3 healthy ways to cope with stress?

Journaling. Making this a priority for 5-10 minutes in your day will help you look at
your day as a whole and help you plan ahead rather than existing ‘moment to
moment
’.

Exercise and sleep. It may seem impossible at first, but build up slowly. If you continue to struggle with your sleep, see your G.P.

Talk to somebody. This can be a trusted friend or a professional who is experienced
in helping people in the same position as you. Talking with somebody like a therapist
can help realise priorities and unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour.

How can I reduce stress quickly?

Acknowledge that you’re stressed. Being aware is the first step.

Breathe deeply and where possible close your eyes and visualise yourself being
stress-free.

Stretch.

What if I need further support for my stress?

No problem.

Have a chat with us and see how we can help you cope with, and reduce, your stress in the long term.

Start here and now

What is anxiety?
In general, anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of unease where you doubt your ability to cope with whatever is in front of you.

How anxiety affects you:
It can prevent you from enjoying your life. If you struggle with social anxiety, it can stop
you from meeting up with friends and therefore you can become isolated. This can have a damaging impact on your mental health.

What anxiety does to your body?
You may feel your heart racing and have pains in your chest. There is a risk of increased blood pressure.

How long can anxiety last?
Anxiety attacks can last from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. There is a feeling of terror that you will totally lose control. You may start to hyperventilate and feel like you are in ‘fight or flight mode’.

How can I calm my anxiety?
Breathe deeply and acknowledge you are anxious. Just like with stress, if you are
aware that you are anxious, you are already starting to take control of it.

Challenge your thoughts. Are you facing something you have achieved before?
What happened the last time? Is there evidence that it will automatically go wrong or is that perception?

Rate your anxiety out of 10 (10 being the most anxious). Becoming aware of situations where you feel more or less anxious, will help you start to plan for more stressful situations rather than them feeling like they are coming ‘out of the blue’.

What helps with severe anxiety?

Visit your G.P. to discuss possible medication that may help you.
Consider talking therapy with a professional who can help you come up with coping strategies such as C.B.T. (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy).

Priorities exercise, sleep, getting out in the fresh air and a good diet.

What if you want long-term solutions to stress and anxiety?

Talking therapies can be a great way to learn techniques that will last a lifetime, rather than trying to find a ‘quick fix’.

The benefits of therapy for stress and anxiety can mean that you have a safe, confidential space where you can unravel all of your racing thoughts to a professional who is trained to help you come up with strategies that can enable you to be able to feel calm and relaxed.

You may think things like:

It will cost a fortune.
How will a stranger help me?’

These are completely normal thoughts.

In around 8-10 sessions, you will have made massive strides in learning new strategies that will carry you through your lifetime rather than paying out for temporary fixes or self-medicating (alcohol, excess takeaways etc.)

A therapist is trained to be non-judgemental and totally focused on YOU. Something that you may not have experienced before. After all, our friends and family have their own things
going on. A therapist is there for you and only you.

It can’t hurt to give it a try, can it?

Have a look and find the right person for you here

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