Post Referendum Stress Disorder!
A lot of people are feeling very anxious and stressed at this time of uncertainty post Referendum. Therefore it is important to remember that it is wise to remain as calm as possible, to control one's thoughts and feelings plus behaviours so as to maintain good health. Remember every single time one gets stressed, one is releasing adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol, the stress hormones. These push up blood pressure, release sugars and activate one for freeze, flight and fight.
Now the stress response (Sympathetic Nervous System) exists to deal with short term stress. Stress should be like a good short story, with a definite beginning, a clear middle and a defined end. Unfortunately for us in our 24/7 world where everything is go,go,go, we rarely get time to switch off completely and of course there is no clear beginning to the stress and no clear end as one stressor merges into another.
We are bombarded with data, overwhelmed with stimuli and also let's face it often surviving on poor nutrients (think fast food) lots of caffeine and alcohol. If one continues like this it is highly likely if not inevitable that one will end up with Adrenal Fatigue.
We need to have both the Sympathetic Nervous System (think fight, flight) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (think relaxation response or what is called stay and play) balanced. The key to being able to manage and cope is to be able to switch from the Stress Response to the Stay and Play Response quickly.
Yes we do need stress in the form of challenges. However, a lot of our stress is beyond our own control. I remember a wise person once saying to me "There are three types of work in this world Douglas, they are God's work (if you do not like the idea of God think Universal Energy), other people's work and our own work, and there is only one of those in our control" You guessed it, we can only control our own work in life, our own thoughts, our feelings and our actions.
So if you are feeling anxious post Referendum and feeling frightened plus uncertain what can you do?
1) Do some breath work either 7/11 breathing (Google it) or Block Breathing where one breaths in through the nose to a mental count of four, then hold the in breath for a mental count of four, then breath out through the nose to a mental count of four, then hold the out breath for a mental count of four, then breath normally for a few times and then repeat the cycle of the Block Breathing. Do the complete cycle four times and you will feel much more relaxed. Be your own guide as to how long to breath in for and to hold the breath for but a mental count of four is beneficial.
2) Tense and relax muscle groups, start off at the head and breath in deeply, hold the breath for 4 seconds as one tenses each muscle group working from the forehead, downwards, to the feet. After each tension whilst holding the breath to a mental count of four, then breathe out normally whilst relaxing the particular muscle group you have been tensing.This method is often better taught in a session with a therapist.
In essence it is a form of Progressive Muscular Relaxation, where we tense and then relax the muscles. We pay attention to both the tension and also more so we pay specific attention towards the relaxation following the tension. When we tense one particular muscle group we keep the other muscle groups relaxed. If you do not like tensing your muscles prior to relaxing them, just imagine the muscles softening, relaxing and smoothing out.
3) We can visualise a very pleasant scene in our mind's eye. When it is safe to do so, close the eyes and take yourself back to a very pleasant memory of a favourite scene (this can be a real scene from a holiday or an imaginary place). Then we step into our own self so that we do not see ourselves in the memory but we are actually back there then, looking out of our own eyes, seeing what we see and feeling what we feel plus hearing what we hear, smelling what we smell and tasting what we taste. Make the memory of the favourite place very vivid (practice will make it more vivid). Then spend a few minutes there, really absorbing the scene which in the past made you feel so relaxed, calm and at ease and will do so again through active exploration of your memory.
4) Use a trigger word: Anytime you naturally feel relaxed, at ease and have a positive mood link it to a trigger word you say in your mind or a trigger phrase such as "I am calm and at ease". Or it could just be one word such as "relaxed" The key is to use exactly the same word or phrase every single time to create an association between the way you feel and that particular word or phrase. Then whenever you feel stressed, you simply think your trigger word or trigger phrase and watch how quickly you can calm down.
5) Learn Self Hypnosis with a professional Hypnotherapist. For example Douglas teaches a very powerful method of Self Hypnosis which links a lot of these elements together into a unique plus winning formula for you to gain much more self control over your mind and body.
If you like what hear and want to consult with Douglas please get in touch with him at www.hypnotherapywarwickshire.com and www.douglasclarkhypnosis.com
Many thanks for reading!
Douglas Clark Master of Hypnotherapy