Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to be calm, collected and comfortable in any situation? Many of these people experience anxieties and stresses which most people feel, however they have cultivated ways of relaxing in the most stressful situation, viewing the stress as an external factor and do not invite the stress into their being.

Modern day life and society have meant it is more important to understand stress, how it impacts you and how you can alter the way you perceive stress.

Although it may be hard to imagine however you can find a balance between stress and living, learning a new response to external environment stress as well as inner stress.

The origins of stress

Evolution is an amazing state of human process and progress. We have evolved into conscious "beings" that are aware of our inner selves, have a sense of right and wrong, have complex brain capabilities, language and communication skills.

Despite all of our advancements stress is a by-product of our ancestors and our nervous system can be traced back to prehistoric cavemen.

Just imagine a cavemen sitting near a small fire in the comfort of his cave after difficult day hunting. Suddenly, without any warning, in the shadows of his cave he spots a sabre-toothed tiger. His body reacts immediately, and has two options for survival to either stay and fight or run.

The automatic nervous system prepared the cavemen for fight or flight and impacts the body in various ways:

Digestion slows down, breathing increases, heart beats faster to allow blood to be directed to muscles and the brain where they need it most as it is important to be alert and strong in the face of danger. Sometimes this may come across as a feeling of "butterflies" in the stomach, or you may be aware that your breathing is swallow and rapid, or your heart is beating faster.

The caveman's whole existence was connected to many life-threatening situations and in order to survive the flight or flight response was his ultimate life line.

So how does this impact us in our modern lifestyles and society?

We have the same automatic stress response as the caveman, but unlike the caveman most of us are seldom faced with life threatening situations. When modern day man (and woman) is threatened he begins to prepare and brace himself against an attack, but this causes conflict as he tries to contain his nervous reactions because the threat is not usually one a life dangerous situation.

Bosses, work load, money worries, running late, bills, budgets, audiences and exams are not life threatening situations however sometimes our bodies react as if they were.

Different types of stress

One of the challenges is about how to recognise what are good stresses for you and what is your manageable stress levels.

Good stresses can be anything from your football team is just about to score, you race your five year old across the park, stress to help you feel motivated to reach deadlines, you are in the middle of a downhill ski run, and so on. These are all healthy stresses which helps you to get up in the morning and live life, as if we had zero stress motivation would be lacking to enjoy life.

The other type stress which generally impacts your life in a different way, some people call this negative stress, however I do not like this term, as your body recognises both stresses as just stress. It's how you to react to the stress which is important. So stresses which can impact your general well-being and health includes: stuck in traffic and late for an important meeting, your train is cancelled and you are about to go for a job interview, a report is due and your computer crashes, you are about to made redundant.

So, the challenge of stress is how to be with it, how to acknowledge the stressors in the your life without letting stress consume you?

The benefits of stress management

Stress management, or as I prefer to call it stress awareness can have a huge impact on your work, relationships, your approach to life, and your health.

There are many different approaches to stress management, some focus on breathing techniques, hypnotherapy, relaxation and visualisation exercises and others are more cognitive bases.

Hypnotherapy is a effective approach to use with stress management. A suitably trained and experienced hypnotherapist will help you to understand how stress impacts you both physically and emotionally, help to build up your inner resources and also provide tools and techniques to implement naturally into your life.

And finally, remember this quote from Natalie Goldberg:
Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Connors is a London based Stress Management Hypnotherapist with over five years experience helping people to not only change their lives but also to improve it.