Stress Awareness

stress awareness 2wish

How stress affects us

The stress response in the body, often referred to as the “fight/flight/freeze” response, is a physical response to a stressor. Stress is often in response to a person’s perceived ability to cope with a situation. This physical response shuts down many systems in the body eg digestion, and reproduction, and it heightens others. For example, the immune response is put on high alert, in readiness to deal with an injury, the heart/breathing rate and blood pressure increase, glucose is released into the blood, and all these automatic responses, prepare the body physically and mentally to respond to the stressor, eg run away or fight.

stress awareness good versus bad 2wish

What is stress?

Stress is a part of everyday, modern life and some stress, or “good stress” is necessary and helps us to perform to the best of our ability. When a person is suddenly bereaved, then obviously stress levels increase. Constantly triggering the stress response, without the necessary physical activity to dispel pent-up energy, can be harmful and leave us more prone to illness and emotional difficulties. Signs of stress can be subtle, and you may not recognise them. You may feel anxious, overthink situations, you might withdraw from friends/family and avoid social activities that you previously enjoyed.

Physical signs of stress

Feeling overwhelmed, digestive issues, muscle aches, headaches, and sleep disturbance are all signs of stress. Even sleeping too much or eating/drinking too much or too little, can indicate you are suffering from stress. More obvious signs might be overreacting to situations, feeling very tense and angry, a raft of emotions may emerge, right through to full-blown panic attacks where you may feel like you are having a heart attack.

complementary therapy 2wish stress awareness

How complementary therapy can help

The advantage of having complementary therapies during stressful times in life is that you are encouraged into a state of deep relaxation – this means you are in rest/digest/repair mode, instead of the fight/flight/freeze mode. A massage, with or without aromatherapy oils, reflexology or Reiki are all very relaxing therapies, so you are immediately taken into a much better physical and emotional space, which can help to lighten, the very heavy feelings associated with grief and trauma. After complementary therapy, people often say they feel much lighter in themselves, they can manage troubling feelings more positively, and they have experienced a short period of relief, which is so important.