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Stress is a word that is used alot and is often linked to problems around mental health. Rightly of course, but the impact of stress on our physical health is seldom spoken about or properly understood and is just as important.
When you know that your weight gain, insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, indigestion, constipation, apathy, feeling helpless or hopeless, muscle aches and pains, back problems, depression and even road rage can all result from stress that either hasn’t been identified, or hasn’t been managed very well, it’s good to know that there is a possible cause and therefore a possible solution.
Unfortunately, one of the places where people feel most stressed is in the workplace where stress is under-estimated and over-looked.
- Under-estimated because most people living with high levels of stress have learnt to adapt and cope.
- Over-looked because it’s hard to recognise what the problem is when you’re in the middle of it.
Without awareness of the problem, stress can lead to burn-out which usually means that people need to take time off work to recover. This has the knock on effect that the people who have to pick up the workload are then more stressed, so the cycle continues.
- Most people think that stress is just the day to day stuff that happens to all of us. We cope with it, leave it behind and move on with our lives.
- The truth is that our response to stress can be long lasting. Cortisol can stay in the body for 25 hours and our nervous systems become primed to react and then over-react to stress.
Stress and trauma in childhood that shape our neural pathways and how the mind and brain develops, are key to understanding how we think, feel, remember and behave as adults.
Although our responses to stressful situations, in and outside of work, are heavily influenced by our state of mind as children, this does not mean we have to remain ‘stuck’ in the past, with childhood beliefs and feelings that are no longer appropriate or relevant as adults.
Your beliefs around not being good enough or that you’re an imposter, dreading the day you’re found out, originated from childhood stress or trauma and still exert their negative influence on your career or your relationships or your financial situation.