November 01 is National Stress Awareness Day
In a new book The Upside of Stress, Kelly McGonigal explains why stress can be good for you.
Did you know that stress in the short-term can
- boost productivity and concentration
- increase immunity
- increase resilience
- motivate you to succeed
- boost child development
Good stress is acute, lasting minutes or hours not days or weeks or months. That’s when stress becomes bad. Symptoms of chronic stress include:
There are many things that you can do to alleviate your stress, however, when we are in this condition it becomes harder to think clearly and to motivate ourselves to do the very things that would make us feel better, like:
- taking care of our diet
- drinking enough water
- taking regular exercise
- taking time to do the things we enjoy, that absorb our attention and help us to stop focusing on how we are feeling
Whether your stress stems from:
- confidence and self belief
- changing circumstances
One of the most basic things you can do is breath!
Yes, I know you all know how to do this – but this form of breathing is special. It not only helps to make your body feel physically better it also calms your mind, helping you to return to a state of rationality where you can start to make decisions that will help you to feel better in the longer term. So why not give it a go?
All you need to do is:
- Breath in through your nose for the count of 7
- Breath out through your mouth (in a slow controlled out breath) for the count of 11
Do this for about a minute and, as you do, just notice anything in your body that lets you know it is feeling calmer or easier or more comfortable.
If you find this tricky then adjust the numbers: as long as your out-breath is longer than your in-breath it will bring you the same benefits. Try 4/8 or 5/9. You might even find you want to increase the numbers: 9/14. Just find the numbers that work for you.
This is a technique you can do just about anywhere: at your desk, on the train, in bed, on the sofa, in the dentist chair, waiting for your job interview ….. it’s easy to do and discreet.
Build this into your daily routine, maybe first thing in the morning and last thing at night because we are all more likely to use techniques during the day when we are feeling stressed if they are already part of our usual habits.
Finally, if you feel that you would benefit from some more direct assistance then we are here to help. If you would just like to chat through your situation confidentially, just get in touch and let us explain how we can assist you to make the changes you would like to make.
Donna & Alison
Odyssey Partnership (Epsom Hypnotherapy)
The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal is published by Vermillion priced £12.99.