Causes of Stress
Stress definition: a state of mental or emotional strain caused by adverse circumstances.
Stress is a natural response to external pressures or demands and real or perceived threats which in low levels can be motivational, but is harmful when experienced over an extended period of time. This ongoing chronic stress can be caused by challenges at work or home and difficulties in your personal life such as bereavement, divorce, redundancy or financial worries.
How Your Body Responds to Stress
During everyday life your brain obtains information via your senses (sight, hearing, taste etc) and processes it to help make sense of your external environment and experiences. When your brain believes this information indicates a threat/risk to your ‘comfort zone’ it communicates this throughout your body, and your body responds by releasing stress hormones and initiating physiological changes.
This process occurs via your vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve that runs from your brain down your neck and into your gut. The vagus nerve communicates with organs in your body and helps regulate your body’s response to stress.
Your body’s nervous system works autonomously, meaning you have no control over it, and it fluctuates between two states – parasympathetic and sympathetic.
Stress activates your sympathetic nervous system which triggers:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Release of stress hormones to prepare your body for action
- Slower, poor digestion
- Muscle tension
- Reduced blood supply to organs
- Shallow and faster breathing
- Selective hearing and mental overwhelm
- Increased sweating
- Increased urination and constipation
- Dry mouth
- Dilation of your pupils
You also respond by entering one of four states:
Fight: desire for control, feel irritation, aggression or anger
Flight: want to avoid the situation, feel anxious and worried
Freeze: feel stuck, numb and unable to make a decision, desire to withdraw
Fawn: want to please others, fit in and avoid conflict
When your parasympathetic nervous system is activated your body is in a state of rest and digest which triggers:
- Effective digestion
- Lower heart rate
- Increased blood supply to organs resulting in less effort required
- Slower and deeper breathing
- Muscle relaxation
- Deep, restorative sleep
- Effective waste removal
- Cellular detox and regeneration
Effects of Chronic Stress
As you can imagine, if your body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated for prolonged periods it can have a destructive impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.
This may cause dysfunction of various bodily systems, such as your immune, digestive, and nervous systems, and the hormones produced to increase your body’s glucose levels (to provide greater muscle energy to escape your perceived threat) can result in weight gain.
On a long term basis this can result in a range of health issues including anxiety, depression, migraines, IBS, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and strokes.
Benefits of Reiki for Stress Relief
Receiving face to face or distance reiki can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, your body relaxes and normal function can be restored. Your immune system is able to function more effectively and your body’s natural healing ability, cellular detox and regeneration can occur.
You may also reduce the risk of developing long standing and/or serious illness if you’re helping support your nervous system with regular reiki.
How Life Coaching can Help to Manage Stress
You can’t avoid stress or control other people’s behaviour/external events, but you can chose perceptions, responses and decisions that support your wellbeing, and that’s dependent on your mindset and belief system (which is why two people can experience the same circumstances but react completely differently to them).
There may be times when professional help such as counselling is necessary to help with particularly difficult times such as bereavement, but for every day work and home related stress it’s extremely beneficial to establish a mindset based upon self-belief, self-confidence, resilience and adaptability, which can be achieved with life coaching.
This can help shift your perception and focus to enable you to manage your current circumstances more effectively, or choose to create a new future for yourself and formulate a plan to get you there.
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is the practice of understanding how the subconscious part of your brain/mind influences the way you think, behave and communicate:
Neuro refers to what’s happening in your mind – your thoughts, feelings and beliefs
Linguistic refers to your internal self-talk, communication with others, and your body language
Programming refers to the positive and negative patterns of behaviour that you’ve learned and continue to repeat
Your ‘programming’ is shaped by your childhood conditioning (what you experienced, saw and learned as a child from your parents, family members, teachers, environment, society etc). Your childhood conditioning is effectively training you to become the person you are today, and creates subconscious beliefs that influence your adult thoughts and behaviour.
Every experience you have, piece of information you receive and conversation you engage in is filtered through the lens of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and programming. This is why two people can have the same conversation, or experience, but with completely different perspectives.
How Does NLP Work?
During coaching you won’t always have the answers, and when I use NLP tools it gives you the space to creatively explore possibilities without judgement or expectation, to help you find your answers.
NLP tools include questions, visualisations and practical techniques that promote self-awareness by gently challenging your thought processes and programming. They’re powerful in helping you transform your limiting beliefs, step outside your comfort zone and remove the barriers currently preventing you from getting what you want from life.
As a life coach I blend coaching and NLP tools to help you change the way you think, behave and communicate, to get better results for yourself. Think of it as rewiring your brain to see things differently.
Once you’ve experienced NLP tools in your coaching you can apply them to any aspect of your life to:
- Change your mindset and increase your confidence
- Understand the cause of your ineffective beliefs, habits and behaviour and reduce or remove their impact
- Develop effective new beliefs, habits, behaviours
- Improve your relationships and resolve conflict effectively
NLP can deliver lots of ‘ah ha!’ moments of clarity and valuable insights about yourself, the way you think and why you do what you do. You’ll develop the lifelong skills to recognise how you’re holding yourself back, failing to get your needs met, or not living in alignment with your values, and make the necessary changes.
As Einstein said ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’. The key to effective, lasting change is thinking and behaving differently and NLP helps you do just that.
Book a free 30 minute consultation call to discuss how you can achieve lasting change and better results here
If the concept of energy healing isn’t familiar to you, let me tell you about what happens in a reiki session.
Reiki is universal life force energy and receiving reiki energy rebalances and replenishes your body’s energy flow. This helps restore your physical and emotional wellbeing, reduce stress, strengthen your immune system and stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.
For your session you just lay comfortably on my massage bed (fully clothed), close your eyes, relax and be open to receiving the reiki energy – I do the rest. I’ll dim the lights, release the aromatherapy scents, turn on the ‘spa’ music and wrap you in a cosy throw.
If you’ve rushed to your appointment from a busy day we can do some relaxing breathing or a short meditation to help you fully relax and get the most from your session.
As a Reiki Master Practitioner and Reiki Teacher, my hands are very sensitive to energy. Holding my hands a few inches above your body I slowly move them from your head to your feet sensing energy imbalances as heat or tingling. I’ll then channel reiki energy from my palms to these areas, which your mind and body uses to rebalance and unblock your energy.
What Does Reiki Feel Like
Everyone’s experience is different, but the most common sensation you’ll feel is warmth and deep relaxation spreading throughout your body.
It’s not unusual to drift in and out of sleep, but even if you fall asleep you’re still getting the full benefit.
You may feel tingling, coolness, slight pressure or sense the energy flowing around your body. As your body responds to the reiki energy it may feel heavy, appearing to sink into the bed, or it may feel as light as a feather with your arms, legs or your whole body appearing to float off the bed.
With your eyes closed you may see a kaleidoscope of colours, different colours coming in and out of your vision, or burst of colours like fireworks.
Twitching, coughing, sighing or blinking may also occur. Any of these sensations are just indications of energy starting to flow freely around your body again and energy blockages being released.
When your session ends you’ll probably feel extremely relaxed and some clients say their body feels lighter, as their energy flow and balance is restored.
Afterwards we’ll share our experiences and you can ask questions. As a reiki practitioner I’m not medically trained so can’t diagnose medical conditions and won’t interfere with any medical treatment/meditation you’re receiving.
Reiki energy continues to flow after your session so ideally relax for a bit to allow your body to fully integrate the reiki energy it’s received. You could experience lethargy, cold-like symptoms or buried emotions resurfacing for 24 – 48 hours. This indicates deep healing and is usually followed by a sense of wellbeing. Drinking plenty of water for 24 – 48 hours afterwards is also beneficial.
Reiki Distance Healing
As reiki is universal life force energy I can ‘send’ it anywhere in the UK, for you to receive in the comfort of your own home, at a time that works for you, while you lay relaxing on your bed or sofa. I can also send distance reiki to your children to receive after bedtime while they’re sleeping.
Once we’ve arranged a date and time I’ll email you preparation guidance, text a reminder on the morning of our session and then text again 10 minutes before your session to ask you to relax and prepare.
Your distance reiki session lasts for 30 minutes and produces the same benefits and experiences as receiving face to face reiki, and I’ll also provide feedback.
Please click here to book a reiki session