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Coping with stress and worry

By Denise Elliot

Hans Selye says in his book The Stress of Life : "Stress is not even necessarily bad for you; it is also the spice of life, for any emotion, any activity causes stress. But, of course, your system must be prepared to take it."

So basically we may not be able to take away our stressors we ideally need to make a strong body to cope.

It is not a stressor that determines the response – it is the individual’s internal reaction, which then triggers the response. The internal reaction is of course so individual that what one perceives as stress may be of no concern to another.

There will never be only one answer to our wellness - though every small positive step is a step in the right direction. Look closely at your sleep patterns because if you are not getting adequate sleep it will be harder for all daily activities and will confuse your thinking. Aim for a routine with your sleep, slow down in the evening preferably with no social media or computer games. If mind chatter is keeping you awake at night with all that you have to do - try bach flower White Chestnut - tis a wee miracle worker. You will find bach flowers through a natural health practitioner or at a health food store. There are 38 bach flowers altogether and they can gently help ease negative thoughts and patterns. Rescue remedy is made up of five bach flowers and is appropriate for anything that creates fear and panic in an individual. They are wonderfully gentle in their healing.

Exercise has been written often as an anti-depressant - and there is no doubt moving the body does create ‘feel good’ endorphins. Any form of exercise is relevant, just move - as we age it may be that the movement becomes more placement of limbs rather than speedy aerobic classes. Walking is difficult to beat - so if you can walk do so - get out to your local beach or out in our beautiful bush and feel that amazing energy.

Meditation does not have to be just sit and be still - it can be active as well - out in New Zealand’s native bush is meditative in its own right. Be quiet with your thoughts and you will often find the answer you may have been seeking.

It is true that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy in that we can as humans worry. It gets us no where apart from an early grave. Really when we stand back and look at the situation we find that the worry is a waste of time - often it does not happen or if it does we work our way through it anyway, one step at a time. I have said to my clients before if you cannot stop worrying try it for just ten minutes a day, set a time and sit and worry solid for ten minutes. This will help you see how really foolish it is.

Don’t worry, be happy, is so easy to say, but it takes practice to put in place. Make a plan to move forward, create a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Time line) and plan your way out.

Seek out support where necessary. The more alone we feel the more stressed life can feel, because a feeling of lack of support can be overwhelming. Please reach out.

Without a doubt the most important thing is to be kind to yourself !