Good day lovely people, hope you have had a great week!
It’s that time of the week again when I share my Menopause A-Z weekly blog and this we have arrived at S and I’m going to be talking about STRESS!!
Now when I say stress, it is actually more about our stress response as stress itself is our individual perception of a situation and how it makes us feel. However, as our reproductive hormones reduce and we find ourselves tackling hormonal changes, that can lead to insomnia, fatigue and brain fog, to name a few, we suddenly find ourselves feeling stressed in situations that we may have handled with ease previously because our resilience just isn’t what it was.
We find that we are feeling overwhelmed far quicker and can be left feeling drained and exhausted with what I like to call a ‘stress hangover’, and there the cycle begins. Jump on my blog to find out more and look at how we can work together to eliminate this response and get you back to living your best life.
So, if you have read my blogs previously you will have heard me talk about the effects of stress in relation to other symptoms, so I really wanted to dedicate some time solely to stress today.
Stress, in a sense is actually designed to be a good thing because it is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger, whether that be real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick in. We move into a high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or otherwise known as the “stress response.”
As I say, this is actually designed as the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert and would even be the thing that could save your life in an emergency situation as it gives you extra strength to defend yourself or possibly spur you on to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident. We have all heard stories of mothers lifting cars off of their children because the protective instinct for their child’s survival flicks that same switch and the stress response gives them that surge of super strength.
Stress can also be helpful in supporting you to rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you switched on during a presentation at work, or during an interview. It’s what sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.
So, all of this sounds great, the trouble is that beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life. Now, as I mentioned earlier, often when we find ourselves experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause, transitioning through to menopause and the reduction in reproductive hormones is affecting many aspects of our physical and mental health already.
Because of this, your body is more likely to be sitting in that fight or flight mode, or at the very least it is closer to it at all times, teetering on the edge of that stress response. You see, the fight or flight part of the brain, known as the Primitive Brain, is vigilant because it’s designed to keep you alive, it’s all about survival so it’s never going to take a day off.
So, the moment you start to feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol and these rouse the body for action to fight whatever emergency is perceived. The physical responses are that your heart pounds faster, your muscles tighten, and your blood pressure rises. You might find that your breath quickens, and your senses become sharper and initially your strength and stamina will speed up your reaction time and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
The trouble is that if this is becoming your response to minor day to day things and you frequently find yourself feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance.
When we look at the long-term effects of the over release of adrenaline and cortisol and your body living in a heightened state of stress, we know that this can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems as well as exacerbate physical pain.
The reassuring thing is that you can protect yourself—and improve how you think and feel—by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects. Hypnotherapy is recognised as a hugely beneficial process for stress reduction as the state of trance allows us to work on emptying our stress bucket to reduced that constant overwhelm. Once trance has worked upon reducing what is sitting in that stress bucket, we find ourselves thinking and reacting from our intellectual brain, the pre-frontal cortex. Add on to this the psychotherapy work that we complete and this helps you increase the level of good hormones such as serotonin which work to keep you in the pre-frontal cortex, allowing you to be more rational, calmer and overall more confident.
Learn more about how you can start to move further away from that stress response, get out of that primitive brain and start living a life where you are in control. Being in control lets us live lighter (and longer), free from the burden of the destructive stress cycle. Contact me today to book your FREE initial consultation.