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Stress and the Five Pillars

Stress Management by Tricia Woolfrey

Stress seems to be an ever-present force in many people’s lives.  If you are lucky, you will have long periods of positive stress interspersed with periods of enjoyable calm, punctuated by the odd bout of negative stress (nobody can avoid it altogether).  If you aren’t that lucky, you may be encouraged to learn that it is possible to manage your stress but first of all it is useful to understand more about it.

There are basically three levels of stress.  The first level is calm.  You’ve heard the expression “he is so laid back he’s horizontal”?  Well, you need a little stress to have sufficient adrenaline to function at your best.  You also need a little calm so that you recharge your batteries and create balance in your life.

The second level is eustress.  This is any stress which has a beneficial effect.  It provides feelings of fulfilment and achievement.  It is where you feel energised and focused and in your flow.  It gives you confidence and makes you feel empowered.  However, too much excitement can also be bad for you as it raises your adrenaline and heart rate too high.  So relaxation is important for balance.

The third level is negative stress and this is what can be harmful to your mood, your relationships, your productivity and your health.

The five pillars, below, are the ways you respond to or contribute to stress:  psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually and life-load.  They each interact with the other to influence your stress in one way or another:

THE FIVE PILLARS
PSYCHOLOGICAL   EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL  LIFESTYLE   SPIRITUAL
Your thoughts Your feelings Nutrition & biochemistry Life load Purpose & meaning
Your behavioural response to stress Your emotional response to stress Your physical response to stress How your lifestyle contributes to stress Your ability to transcend negative stress

Your thoughts create feelings – if you think a negative thought you feel bad, and if you think a positive thought you feel good.  Your feelings, in turn create a physical response.  How you treat your body can also create an emotional response (have you had the feeling when you are over-tired and become tearful or irritable?  Or too much coffee makes you anxious?).  Your life-load – how much you have to do – can leave you feeling exhausted.  And finally, if you lack purpose and meaning in life, your ability to deal with stress can be compromised.

When your thinking is positive, you feel emotionally strong; when you take care of your health you contribute to your emotional resilience; when you manage your life so there is a balance of doing and being, you feel a sense of equilibrium to rise above challenges; and when your life has purpose and meaning then you are more able to deal with life’s trials and tribulations.  This then gives you the five foundations:

THE FIVE FOUNDATIONS
Clarity ▪ Skills ▪ Confidence ▪ Health ▪ Energy

As an integrative therapist, I work on all these levels to help people develop their stress resilience, become healthier, happier and more confident. To find out more call me on 0345 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

About Tricia Woolfrey

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner with practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street London.  She is a trainer and author.

Contact:
tricia@yourempoweredself.co.uk
www.yourempoweredself.co.uk
0345 130 0854