what is stress?
the stress response is what happens when you are told by your senses there is a danger afoot.
This perception of danger activates your sympathetic nervous system, releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline into your blood stream.
Basically, it pushes a big red button and sets off an alarm. Causing your body and mind to go into high alert.
Your breathing quickens (so you can get more oxygen).
Your heart beats faster (getting more blood to your muscles).
Your tummy feels funny (your digestion is halted, to save energy).
You feel a surge of energy (your liver releases extra glucose).
A great system for survival.
The problem is that we don’t just react this way when we are in immediate danger. The fight or flight system can kick in at any time, anywhere.
Your alarm clock at 6:05. The commute. A traffic jam. A broken ticket machine. An uninvited stare. The queue for your morning coffee. Emails to write. The phone ringing constantly. A backlog of work. Tricky customers. Late running meetings. Missed lunch breaks. Missed work outs. Missed opportunities. Rush hour.
Too many ‘stress responses’ creates pressure. Pressure can build and build until it becomes a burden, until it becomes chronic stress.
Chronic stress can lead to …
The effects of Chronic Stress can lead to physical and mental ill health and significant time off work.
There were 11.7 million reported absences last year in the UK alone because of work-related stress.
So how can we reduce stress?
Short answer, we need to relax. Body and Mind.
Just as there are physical and mental symptoms of Pressure and Stress, there are physical and mental solutions. We need to activate the parasympathetic system in the body and the neuro-psychological systems in the mind. Activating these and other systems promotes a calmer physical and mental state in which we rest, re-charge and rebalance. Enabling us to think more clearly, behave more consciously and be more productive at work. This deactivates the ‘Fight or Flight.’ System. Physically it…
Releases oxytocin (the hormone linked to trust, empathy, connection and happiness).
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate (bringing on a state of calm).
Decreases the level of cortisol (known as the stress hormone).
Aids digestion (especially the absorption and storing of nutrition in the body).
Increases circulation to the skin (causing rosy cheeks).
Decreases circulation in the muscles (allowing the muscles to relax).
Stimulates alpha brainwaves (the bliss and relaxation brain waves).
Reconnects the pre-frontal cortex (where complex thinking is controlled).
Changes Beta brainwaves (from ‘Fight or Flight’ to Think, Plan and Talk).
Emotionally and mentally this:
- Brings on feelings of calm and peacefulness
- Makes you more open and interested in people
- Inspires curiosity
- Increases creativity
- Aids problem solving
- Decreases feelings of anxiety
- Helps us to connect with others and to communicate better
- Allows us to see the bigger picture
- Enables us to Think and Plan ahead
So how can we achieve this?
Solutions to pressure and stress can be found in both ancient traditions and the most modern scientific approaches. Such as…
Diet and nutrition
Being in nature
We offer many of these wellbeing practices for you and your company. We cannot guarantee the sun but there are many other solutions we can help you with.
Massage and bodywork/complementary therapies are effective because they have a fast and direct calming effect upon the body and mind.
The tension in muscles activated by the fight or flight response is eased, stress hormones are hoovered up. And ‘feel good’ chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin flood in, relaxing the body and mind. Leaving the recipient revitalised and ready to get back to work productively.
In our workshops and coaching we offer strategies that help participants take control of pressure and stress. We explore the secrets of success revealed by the latest discoveries of psychology and neuroscience.
Learning new ways to manage pressure and stress in working lives releases ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin and shifts brain activity towards the most productive brainwave profiles. Quite simply, our brains work better!