Stress, in and of itself isn’t inherently a bad thing. We need some stress in our lives for balance and simply to get things done. Think of the stretching (stress) and relaxing movements in yoga – both are needed to gain the benefit, the Yin and the Yang
Think of competitive sports or vital work deadlines - the burst of stress chemicals gives us the extra energy boost we need to react quickly and achieve our goals.
But, in my personal experience there are two aspects of stress to which we need to pay particular attention preserve our functional health and wellbeing.
- Stress Response – how does your unique body respond to everyday stress factors? Think about situations you find stressful, maybe at work, at home, in learning, exams, individual and team sports, dealing with family, litigation, difficult neighbours ......... anything that represents a challenge beyond the day to day norm.
Do you feel invigorated, even excited, by the extra demands? Does the situation bring out the best in you? Or do you quickly find yourself feeling overloaded? You may be particularly sensitive to the adrenalin and cortisol your body produces, making you feel sick or shaky.
How does stress affect your attitude? Some people do their best to cope with the problem or workload but accept that there is only so much they can physically do; they don’t take it personally. Others criticise and blame themselves for their perceived failures or inadequacies, regardless of the impossibility of the task at hand.
If you fall into the second category, EFT – self administered or through a therapist - could be your best friend, helping you to get things into perspective, to change what can be changed and accept what can’t.. Using self-care strategies like EFT at this point helps ensure you stand a better chance of avoiding the pitfalls of the next stage of harmful stress..
- Long-term, unrelieved, chronic stress may be experienced as a steady build-up of anxiety, – especially for those with low self worth and lacking in confidence,. It can – as it did in my own case – lead to depression and impaired day to day functioning including loss of memory, poor communication, disrupted sleep patterns and poor quality of sleep, reduction in self-care and even suicidal thoughts.
Using Emotional Freedom Technique to de-fuse the triggers that lead to these negative stress responses may help to prevent this deterioration of functioning or aid recovery if a breakdown has already happened.
It must be stressed that EFT is not an alternative to medical intervention, but is a remarkable additional tool for self-help to speed recovery,. Working with an experienced EFT therapist can be more effective than self-help in situations where an individual has lost all sense of motivation and self worth but the best help of all is awareness and prevention through recognising and managing personal stress responses.