What is stress??
What is stress??
Firstly, here are some definitions given for stress. Each one contributes to answering the question “what is stress”?
At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. 1
Stress is a normal reaction to everyday pressures 2
Stress can be defined as the way you feel when you are under abnormal pressure. 3
When we encounter stress, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘flight or fight’ response. (Mental Health Foundation)1
Stress is such a broad term and what may seem stressful to one person can be quite different for another. Also, our ability to tolerate stress varies greatly and even our tolerance of different types of stress varies greatly from person to person. For example, a person could have a remarkably high tolerance for stress that is work related but could have an exceptionally low tolerance for stress related to relationships. You could have a very low threshold for stress brought on by physical work but be very good at dealing with stress associated with studying or mentally challenging work such as administration, working on a computer or organising. Or the opposite of these examples could be the case.
We are all wired differently, we all have different abilities, but the mechanisms of stress are the same for everyone. From our experience working with people that are suffering due to stress we have a particularly good understanding of how to treat the negative effects associated with stress. As well as how to help switch off the stress reaction in the body. Or the mental side-effects that come with stress such as reoccurring or thoughts, worries, concerns.
Stress versus anxiety
While both stress and anxiety have similar emotion responses, there is one key difference being the source of the response. Both anxiety and stress trigger the “flight or fight responses within the body however stress is typically caused by an external source, whereas anxiety is a response that persists without the presence of a stressor/external trigger. 4
Stress is a response to a threat in a situation, whereas anxiety is a reaction to the stress. 1
Good stress versus bad stress
Not all stress is bad and not all stress stems from negative experience. For example, bringing a new-born home from hospital, while a joyful occasion can also be stressful. Think of competing in a sport, this is an activity that would bring great excitement, with that excitement the desire to perform well can be stressful, and this is not a bad thing. Research shows that a moderate level of stress makes us perform better. Stress becomes problematic however when it is continual or when it begins to affect how one copes with day-to-day tasks and challenges 2,5
Acute stress versus chronic stress
There are two different types of stress, acute and chronic. While these two stresses cause similar reactions within the body as far as hormone release, the intensity and length of the response can vary greatly. The acute-stress response is sudden and strong while chronic-stress response is more subtle however the effects may be longer lasting and more problematic.
Acute stress is a short-term or quick response to something. An example of acute stress could be giving a speech or presentation. The feeling often described as nerves or being nervous is the body’s response to the stress of having to stand in front of others to give the speech/presentation. Acute stress is a normal response to everyday events.
Chronic stress on the other hand is an on-going continued state of stress, this can occur for many reasons. Chronic stress could be the result of an on-going stressful situation such as a high demand job, life-event such as the loss of a loved one. It can also be result of multiple small stressors happening in conjunction on an on-going basis; rushing to get the kids to school on time, getting stuck in traffic and being late to work; while each of these things alone could be an example of acute stress independently, when they occur in succession over a long period of time the result is a chronic state of stress.
Our bodies are designed to cope with short-term or acute stress, this is a survival mechanism and in the modern world can often help one prepare for an important event, like a sport competition. Chronic stress however is not a condition our bodies are made for. The hormones our body’s produce to elicit a quick response in an acute situation are detrimental to our health when being continually released. Your body responds to stressors differently depending on whether the stressor is new or short term — acute stress — or whether the stressor has been around for a longer time — chronic stress. 6
Where does it come from??
Stress can come from many different situations and is unique to an individual, what one may see as a stressful situation, others may not. Stressors are a part of day-to-day life; they may come from work or school even from family and friends. Technology we rely on for entertainment, business and socialising such as mobile phones, computers, social media and video games can also be sources of stress. While these devices may help with day-to-day life, they can also be a source of social pressure and bullying. These devices can be stressful to use because of their health damaging effects if over-used or used inappropriately. Unfortunately, many of these devices that we are compelled to use daily can have inherent negative side-effects on health 7,8.
In our clinics most people we treat for stress or symptoms related to stress would report the source of that stress coming from work, particularly from bullying at work or difficulties with co-workers or superiors. Another commonly reported source is from their workload being much greater than they can reasonably manage. For younger people or students its stress from school again very frequently related to bullying or difficulties with fellow students or teachers. Or stress from pressure associated with exams or workload.
Often this stress comes from the person themselves as they perceive the situation as more stressful than it really is. For example, the student who desperately wants to achieve a certain result can pile the pressure upon themselves; they end up completely stressed from that pressure which is all internal. How we perceive a situation has everything to do with how stressed we end up feeling from that situation.
Another frequent source of stress reported to us is when a person is constantly looking after others without having or taking time to care for themselves, this can be a detrimental to health and lead to a ‘burnt out’ feeling. Also being stuck in a job you hate. Or not having adequate coping skills to deal with normal day-to-day pressures.
How stress affects the body??
When we are under stress our sympathetic nervous system is active, we are in a fight, flight or freeze mode. Mostly in a fight or flight mode where our stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and others are produced and released by the brain, certain glands, and other tissues of the body. This occurs primarily through the HPA axis, referring to the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenals.
You burn up your energy reserves when you are in the fight or flight response as the sympathetic nervous system is active 9. The body builds up energy reserves and heals when the parasympathetic nervous system is active. This state is often referred to as the ‘rest and digest’ state, as your stress hormone production slows down or shuts off and other hormones that make you feel good and relaxed start to be produced such as serotonin and GABA. More blood flow is directed to the gut allowing the body to fully digest food that has been consumed. This is so that your body can completely assimilate all the nutrients and calories available from what you have eaten.
Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol cause the body to direct blood flow away from the gut and into the extremities, the muscles of the arms and legs. Digestion is viewed by the body and the subconscious mind as non-essential function when under threat or in danger. That is why gut or bowel problems are often associated with stress because as blood flow to the digestive organs slows down the activity there slows too.
We are still hard wired as if we were living in nature. Evolution has provided humans with many built in survival mechanisms; they can be roughly divided into two functional categories, growth and protection. A cell cannot exhibit both behaviours at once 9.
A human being cannot be in both protection and growth mode at once, it is one or the other. If you are in danger all growth behaviours are restricted as you enter protection mode. When your body is in protection mode, this not only expends energy but affects the whole body’s ability to produce more energy, therefore draining your energy reserves over time until you return to growth mode. You cannot be under stress and be in growth mode at the same time!
Stress hormones suppress the immune system, they downregulate genes and cause disease. When we are in a stressed state our bodies use up our energy reserves. This can drain us over time. Sometimes over long periods of time, even over several years we can slowly be worn down.
Worry and stress…
Everyone is familiar with the old saying “sick with worry”. We may have genuine worries and concerns in our lives. However, it is the way we perceive a situation that impacts on how our body responds. As in whether you enter fight or flight mode or not.
If you perceive a situation as dangerous or threatening, then your built-in stress response switches on. Like when an animal is in danger and is chased by a predator. Remember that we are animals, we have animal bodies with very advanced brains. And because of the size of the neo-cortex in our brains we can turn on the stress response just by thought alone 10.
However, this means that we can also negate the effects of stress by our thoughts and by simply changing our perception. For example, if you are very worried about an exam or job interview it is usually because you are heavily invested in the outcome.
Of course, this is natural, if it is important to you to get the job you believe you want or get the exam result you desire. But by simply changing your perception you can change the intensity of your stress response. We perform at our best when we are in a relaxed state, this is well known to and applied by top athletes and performers.
How stress affects your life??
Reaction to stress hormones being released can of course affect your mood, you can feel agitated or annoyed more easily, this can make you less tolerant and harder to get along with. It can affect your ability to live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. Therefore, it can affect your relationships, how you interact with family, friends, work colleagues, school mates and others. Stress levels have a significant bearing on relationships for this reason. As social creatures it is important that we have balanced, healthy and robust relationships. They are a vital part of a happy, healthy, and balanced life.
Chronic stress can leave you drained, you may be constantly feeling tired or burnt out, as a result you cannot enjoy life completely. You may not engage in the activities you enjoy and that bring you happiness or spend quality time with your family and friends. You may end up feeling that life is a constant struggle. This can lead into a downward spiral and can be difficult to reverse by yourself without getting help or making significant changes to your lifestyle. That is why we are here to help.
How HiddenMind therapy helps with stress??
- Brings you into a relaxed state
- Switches off the stress response
- Recharges the body / Restore energy reserves
- Help process thoughts & emotions associated with stress
- More awareness of what triggers the stress response in you
- Works beyond the level of talk therapy
Through the HiddenMind: Investigative & Corrective Sound Protocol the energetic signature of stress hormone production of the body is picked up by the therapist using the method of dowsing. A person’s body can be overproducing or underproducing peptides, stress hormones and neurotransmitters. With this method the percentage of over or under production can be measured by picking up the energetic signature, they can then be reset back to the optimum or normal levels. The person’s own subconscious mind through the autonomic nervous system resets production levels back to optimum within a few days to a few weeks. Often people will feel a change even over the three or four days of therapy. It can of course take some time for these levels to reach their optimum, but it is amazing how quickly the body can respond, in some cases, once there has been a correction made within the subconscious mind.
The therapy is designed to help switch off the negative or overwhelming stress responses associated with certain situations, people, or environments. It reprograms the body at a very deep level by engaging the person’s subconscious mind.
Please read article on HiddenMind: Investigative & Corrective Sound therapy for more info on how this happens.
HiddenMind: Bio-Energy therapy helps the person get into a relaxed state. Therefore, allowing the body to activate the para-sympathetic nervous system. When the para-sympathetic nervous system is active the body can recharge. By building back up your energy reserves. The therapy stimulates healing at a deep level, and it reprograms the body.
It also helps to clear any “stuck energy” in the body. When we are put under stress, if we experience emotional hurt or trauma, or if we are mentally overloaded, we can end up with energetic blockages. What we experience can be carried with us in our bodies or our energy fields. This can be referred to as emotional baggage that must be carried with us. If you are unable to process the emotions or mental overload, then you end up carrying those experiences like a weight. They disrupt the normal and healthy flow of life-force energy in the body. HiddenMind: Bio-Energy therapy restores that normal energy flow throughout the body, allowing the body to return to its normal function and optimum health.
Please read article on HiddenMind: Bio-Energy therapy for more info on how this happens.
If you wish to attend on of our clinic or get more information on how we treat stress, please contact us.
- Mental Health Foundation. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/stress.
- American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/index.
- Mental Health Ireland. https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/a-to-z/s/#stress.
- American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress-anxiety-difference. Published October 28, 2019.
- American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2019/08/stress-anxiety. Published August 10, 2019.
- Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-management/art-20044151. March 28, 2019.
- Dr. Robert O. Becker; Cross Currents. The Promise of Electromedicine, the Perils of Electropollution. Torcher, Los Angeles (1990) p256
- Dr. Robert O. Becker, Andrew A. Marino; Electromagnetism and Life. State University of New York Press, Albany (1982) p136
- Bruce Lipton; Biology of belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles. New York: Hay house (2005)
- Dr. Joe Dispenza; Becoming supernatural (2017)