Figures show that stress affects one in five of the working population in the UK.

Over 105 million days are lost to stress (and stress related illness) each year – costing UK employers £1.24 billion.

Stress is now the single biggest cause of sickness in the UK.

But what is Stress?stress three

Stress occurs when the amount of pressure a person is under exceeds their ability to cope. Stress can affect people differently and they may be either emotionally, mentally or physically affected.

Feeling stressed is not unusual and stress will have been experienced by nearly every adult person at some point in their lives. People react and respond differently and many factors can contribute or lead to stress. These include the situations you find yourself in, differences in stress tolerance levels, personalities and past experiences.

Stress arises when we find ourselves in a position we can’t cope with. The body interprets the situation as being dangerous and responds by releasing a number of hormones preparing us to ‘fight or flight’ – to fight the danger or run away from it. Our heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and the mind becomes focused on the ‘danger’ to hand. These mechanisms were designed to help our ancestors battle mammoths and other man-eating beasts – not to activate on the worry of whether we’ve completed everything on our to-do lists. THIS FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONCE IS NORMAL AND NECESARY IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE FOR SURVIVAL!!!!

Although the body’s basic mechanism of responding to stress remains the same, modern-day stress is less sudden (acute) than facing mammoths but much more prolonged (chronic). When we remain in this prolonged fight or flight state our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol can cause irritability, headaches, increased or decreased appetite and skin problems – this means stress is starting to affect your immune system and your health.

However, we all do need a certain amount of Stress in our lives – it’s what drives us to achieve, get’s us up in the morning and gives us that fire-in-our-belly feeling. It’s just how we deal with this Stress that is so important!

stress twoSymptoms of Stress can we be varied and diverse, physical and emotional:
Headaches/Muscle aches and Pains – physical symptoms of stress.
Skin Conditions (acne/psoriasis/eczema) – physical symptoms of stress.
Low Immune System/Coughs and Colds – physical symptoms of stress
Anxiety/Irritability/Panic Attacks – emotional symptoms of stress.
Insomnia/Interrupted Sleep – physical and emotional symptoms of stress.
Depression/Lack of Energy – physical and emotional symptoms of stress.
Retreat at La Serrania June 2013 (58) 
Stress Survival Tips:
            – Stop and Breathe…..take up Yoga
            – Stop and Breathe…..go for a walk in nature
            – Stop and Breathe…..enrol on a retreat
            – Stop and Breathe….have a massage
            – Stop and breathe…have a relaxing bath
            – Stop and breath…have a makeover
            – Stop and heal…..drink a glass of water
            – Stop and heal….cut out caffeine
            – Stop and heal…eat more nutritious wholefoods
            – Stop and heal…start juicing fruit and veg
            – Stop and heal…take calming supplements
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