By the time you read this article, the outcome of the referendum on independence will be known, but I’m writing this article while the campaign is in ‘full-swing’ and both sides are trying to convince the ‘unknowns’ in the middle which way they should vote.
It’s an important time for Scotland and the kind of decision that can have a profound effect on the people living here for generations. This kind of decision making and the possibility of change can be very stressful.
I am always apprehensive about change and worry about what lies ahead for me and my family, so I have found the discussions on independence, the arguments and ‘scaremongering’ from both sides hard to handle. I am acutely aware of the importance of this referendum, and the possibility of us making the ‘wrong decision’, whatever that may be!
All of which is a long-winded way of getting around to the subject of stress, and the stress we all feel in our busy, daily lives.
The word stress is usually used to describe the feelings we experience when the demands made on us are greater than our ability to cope. At such times we often feel overloaded, under pressure and very tense and emotional. Stress affects us all, young and old. It is a completely normal reaction that we experience from time to time when faced with new or difficult situations.
Some of us welcome stress. We are comfortable with it or even thrive on it. We use it to motivate us and drive us forward at home and at work. For these individuals, it is the fuel that keeps us going.
Others find stress a debilitating hindrance to our daily lives. A constant threat to our comfortable existence and something to be avoided or ‘treated’ in order to ‘survive’.
Here are some of the symptoms of stress. Not all of them are linked solely with stress, but we all suffer from some of these symptoms in our busy daily lives.
But what can we do to deal with stress and ease these symptoms? There are many ways of dealing with stress and for most of us the first thing to do is to avoid those situations that lead to stress. (Impossible in the case of the referendum, as everyone is talking about it right now!) It’s also impossible for those individuals who have stressful jobs, The work place is known to be a key factor in stress. A study conducted by the International Stress Management Association found that more than half of people in work suffered from stress over a period of a year and statistics show that a quarter of working people have taken time off work due to the stress.
Learning to relax, taking more exercise, getting more sleep, spending more time on hobbies, sports and pastimes are all useful ways of dealing with stress.
Many of my clients use alternative therapies as a way of dealing with stress. An hour’s reflexology or massage once a week or once a month, becomes a little ‘haven’ or ‘retreat’ in their daily lives. An hour where they can forget about their worries, drift off to sleep or chat to someone about their daily lives.
This type of relaxation helps the body to unwind and rebalance while lowering the blood pressure and helping you to breath more deeply. All of which help the body to deal with stress more effectively.
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You'll find regular articles giving help and advice on how to combat many ailements and how to cobat stress.