International Stress Awareness week 2-5 Nov 2021

Stress – “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”.

Our modern lifestyles mean that for most of us we experience stress on an almost daily basis, it’s very common, and that can be a good thing. Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. A little stress keeps us on our toes and is good for us, it can even help us perform better and can help us achieve things in our daily life. But too much is seriously bad for our health.

It can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem. Stress experienced over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Often we may be unaware we are experiencing too much stress, after all, it’s just life, isn’t it?

If you can relate to any of these, then you may be experiencing too much stress:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sadness or depression
  • Headache
  • Overeating or under eating
  • Putting on weight
  • Restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability or anger
  • Exercising less often
  • Social withdrawal
  • Tobacco alcohol or drug misuse
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain

So, what do you need to do?

Try implementing these tried and tested methods for reducing stress:

  • Learn to relax your muscles
  • Learn to think positively
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Improve your sleep, duration & quality
  • Eat well & mindfully
  • Limit alcohol and stimulants
  • Build in regular exercise
  • Make time for hobbies

All sound like too much faff? Don’t have the time? Perhaps you are like the Wood-Cutter?

The Wood-Cutter

Once upon a time, there was a very strong wood-cutter. He asked for a job from a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was very good and so was the work conditions and for that reason, the wood-cutter was determined to do his very best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area in the forest where he was to work.

On the first day, the wood-cutter cut down 18 trees. His boss was extremely impressed and said, “Well done. Keep it up. You are our best wood-cutter yet.” Motivated by his boss’s words, the wood-cutter tried even harder the next day, but he only cut down 15 trees. On the third day, he tried even harder but only cut down 10 trees.

Day after day the woodcutter cut down fewer and fewer trees. His boss came to him and told him that if he did not chop down more trees each day he would lose his job. The wood-cutter needed the job, so he tried harder and harder. He started work early, worked during his lunch breaks and tea breaks, but still, he could not cut down enough trees. “I must be losing my strength” the wood-cutter thought to himself. He worked overtime, but still, it was not enough.

Eventually, his boss came to him and told him he was fired. The wood-cutter was really upset, but he knew that he had worked as hard as he could and just did not have enough time to chop more trees. He sadly handed his axe back.

The boss took one look at the axe and asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?

“Sharpen my axe?” the woodcutter replied. “I have never sharpened my axe. I have been too busy trying to cut down enough trees.”

Moral of the story:
Don’t get so busy that you don’t take time to sharpen your axe.

Shows the face of a clock

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is well proven in helping you to sharpen your axe as it can help you implement all those tried & tested methods for reducing stress.