Stress Relief, Coping Strategies, Keeping Under Control
Here at STRESS RELIEF & COPING STRATEGIES, we want to give you lots of free, useful facts and information about stress and how you can find ways to deal with it. We also want to highlight the fact that too much stress in our lives can be harmful to our body; Of course, a little bit of stress from time to time can be a good thing, especially when it comes to things like motivation, but when stress becomes frequent in our daily routines, it’s important to understand that it can affect us both physically and mentally – which can then lead into burnout and serious stress related illness.
Why We Need Stress Relief and Coping Strategies
Stress is a very necessary part of life, it can be both good and bad for us and it’s important to have some way of dealing with stress and making time to relax where possible. Stress is the innate part of the human survival system and it can affect everybody but the effects of stress are not always bad, for example stress can stimulate us to remain motivated until we have finished a certain project or a piece of work and we may get a sense of pleasure or satisfaction upon completion. We call this type of stress – eustress, it can be this type of stress that we need to simply get up and out of bed in the morning.
When the pressures of daily life become prolonged this can lead to a negative form of stress – di-stress and this will be the type of stress we are going to be concentrating on most throughout this website. Finding a method of Stress Relief that works for you is important when combating distress – it is this type of stress than can be damaging to our health both mentally and physically if endured for long periods.
Feeling stressed is a perfectly natural response to events that threaten our safety and these can be outside factors to do with the environment, or, sudden changes that we may have to deal with both emotionally or physically, or something that hasn’t yet happened but for which we find ourselves constantly worrying about. When we feel pressure or stress we have something that is causing us to experience the symptoms of stress, this is known as the ‘stressor’. People experience stress in a variety of ways, the actual effects being describes as the ‘stress response’ also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This response is very efficient and the very mechanisms whose function is to protect the individual can lead to varying degrees of physical, mental and emotional discomfort – the symptoms of stress. One important factor in the response to stress is the individual’s perception of the stressor. The knowledge of what triggers your stress response, where and how it manifests itself and knowing that you can change these symptoms through effective Coping Strategies or Stress Relief Techniques can go a long way to managing and relieving stress in a constructive way. Stress Relief therapies and techniques can come in many different forms and people will find some methods work better than others for them.
Effects of Stress and why Stress Management Helps
When we are busy doing; in a mental or physical capacity our brainwave frequencies are within the region of 14-22 pulsations per second. This is known as the beta brainwave frequency (beta state). This is when the brain emits faster electrical patterns than the alpha and delta frequencies (discussed further) , the beta level is a high energetic mental state and far from relaxing. In this state we are able to rationalise and analyse. We are usually in the beta state when we are awake and in a busy, thinking frame of mind, the beta level can be highly motivating and action oriented.
Research has shown that we have a natural functional need to dip into a lower frequency known as the alpha brainwave frequency (alpha state)this frequency emits a slower electrical pattern with a pulsation of around 11-14 pulsations per second. In the alpha state we are less active and more receptive and open to our feelings. It is thought that in a healthy person this dip would happen naturally several times during the daily waking period. Leading psychiatrist and therapist of his time, Dr. Milton H. Erickson believed that in a healthy individual this dip happens spontaneously at least eight times per day. This experience can be likened to a time when perhaps we catch ourselves daydreaming. The alpha brainwave frequency is experienced as the first level of sleep, a healthy state which is linked with rejuvenation and bringing our body/mind back into balance.
When we have been subjected to prolonged pressures and stress it is very likely that our brainwave frequencies are much higher than at the normal beta level and are operating at a heightened state of beta frequencies above the 22 pulsations per second. It is also likely, that in situations of chronic stress – in order to keep going, we have subconsciously learned how to override the natural patterns, omitting the production of the much needed alpha frequencies. Thus making it very difficult to be able to wind down – or fall asleep easily at bedtime.
It is possible to discover ways of bringing the heightened frequencies back to the normal beta frequencies; Some people find that running, walking, swimming and other physical exercise can help.
We know that it is at the alpha level of frequencies that our nervous system is able to rebalance; combating the negative effects of stress. Finding activities that calm you, for example gardening or going for a walk may be relaxing. Many complementary therapies and disciplines work well in promoting alpha brainwave frequencies and helping to rebalance our systems, thus helping to live a happier and stress free life; Here are just some examples;
Learning Healthy Breathing: Relaxation Techniques: Hypnotherapy: Self Hypnosis: Meditation: Mindfulness Meditation: Visualisation Techniques: Massage: Reflexology: Alexander Technique: Pilates: Yoga: Tai Chi – these are just a few
You will find further information regarding the Brainwave Frequencies and these disciplines further on in these pages.
Another effective way of learning how to control brainwave frequencies is by listening to brainwave entrainment recordings. Again, information contained in further pages.