-Rachel Naomi Remen-
Unhelpful levels of stress can be demotivating, and can stop you from fulfilling your potential. This is why during therapy, I help you become aware of what causes you stress, how your body and brain respond, and how confidence can be used to manage stress. You will also learn simple and practical confidence management skills that will improve your confidence levels, even in the most challenging areas of work and life in general.
Stress-management interventions are techniques that are designed to help you modify your appraisal of stressful situations or deal more effectively with the symptoms of stress which include depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and anger.
The choice of which stress-management technique I choose to use with individual clients is always based on the specific health outcomes that are targeted for change.
Studies show that stress management interventions in work settings can be effective in enhancing physical and psychological health. They also show that using a combination of techniques (e.g., muscle relaxation plus cognitive-behavioural skills) are more effective than using single techniques.
This is the reason why I personally favour a multimodal cognitive-behavioural approach to stress management based on current research and practice.
Some of the focus of my approach include:
Individual and organisational symptoms of stress, thinking errors and thinking skills, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, pressure and stress, lifestyle management, management of your personal work environment, locus of control, time management, coping strategies at work and home.
Once you begin to apply the coping strategies you will be amazed at how quickly and profoundly you can transform your life! Our life purpose is to be happy and life is meant to be enjoyed. I want to show you how to overcome the stress and difficulties you are now experiencing, so you can savour every moment.
There is so much more to you than you ever imagined, and it is a joy for me to help you regain control of your life so you can regain your passion for life and be free to live the life you wish to live.
What is Stress?
“Stress can be defined as a physical, psychological or social dysfunction resulting in individuals feeling unable to bridge the gap with the requirements or expectations placed upon them.”
Work stress is described as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work."
Pressures may have many different causes. When their combined effect is overwhelming, stress occurs.
Based on Lazarus's definition it can be determined that if an individual perceives that they have the ability and the internal and external resources to cope with the demands placed on them, then they will not experience stress even though they may feel a degree of pressure.
The Effect of Stress
Some Official Statistics from the International Stress Management Association (ISMA):
"The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show:
The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000 cases, a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.
The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers. The estimated number and rate have remained broadly flat for more than a decade.
The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2015/16 was 11.7 million days. This equated to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. Working days lost per worker showed a generally downward trend up to around 2009/10; since then the rate has been broadly flat.
In 2015/16, stress accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.
Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence.
By occupation, jobs that are common across public service industries (such as healthcare workers teaching professionals; business, media and public service professionals) show higher levels of stress as compared to all jobs.
The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety Labour Force Survey (LFS) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support."
Stress is actually a normal part of life and can serve a useful purpose. It can motivate you to get the promotion you want at work, even motivate you to run the last mile of a marathon. But if you don't manage your stress, it can become long-term stress and it can seriously impact every aspect of your life. Your health, your job, your family life.
Signs & Symptoms of Stress:
The effects of stress can be psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural.
Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions, memory lapses, becoming rather vague, easily distracted, less intuitive & creative, worrying, negative thinking, depression & anxiety.
Tearfulness, irritability, mood swings over sensitivity to criticism, defensiveness, feeling out of control, lack of motivation, anger, frustration, lack of confidence, lack of self-esteem.
Aches and pains, muscle tension, grinding teeth, frequent colds and infections, allergies, rashes, skin irritations, constipation or diarrhoea, IBS, weight loss or gain, indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, hyperventilating, lump in the throat, pins & needles dizziness, palpitations, panic attacks, nausea, physical tiredness menstrual changes, loss of libido and other sexual problems, heart problems, high blood pressure etc.
No time for relaxation or pleasurable activities, prone to accidents, forgetfulness, increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine, recreational or illegal drugs, becoming a workaholic, poor time management and/or poor standards of work, absenteeism, self neglect or change in appearance, social withdrawal, relationship problems, Insomnia or waking up tired, aggressive or anger outbursts.
The behavioural symptoms of stress are usually noticed first because they are more obvious. But by the time they become noticable, stress may have been going on for many months, maybe even years because the symptoms are cumulative.
If you notice the symptoms of stress in your life, don’t rationalize them away.
It is sometimes easier for someone else to recognize stress in you but not so easy to recognize it yourself.
Being able to recognize the common stress symptoms will help you understand how to best manage them.
Stress Management is a skill that can be learned and as such can also be Improved.
There are two primary aspects of stress management: control and prevention.
Of course it is not always easy to control and prevent stress, this is why many people focus on learning to cope with stress instead of learning how to manage it.
Recognizing Your Stress Triggers:
Everyone has different stress triggers. Work stress is the most reported. According to surveys, forty percent of workers admit to experiencing stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.
Since untreated, Stress can lead to major emotional, psychological and physical symptoms and illnesses, my goal as a Stress Management therapist is to guide you, to recognize the areas of your well-being that require special attention and to provide you with the tools and techniques that will generate major improvements in every area of your life.
I use the Evidence-Based Techniques that will help you identify not only the Physiological Signs of Stress in your life, but also provide you with practical exercises that will enable you to build your Relaxation and Stress Management Skills.
The vital tools will also help you to identify the Sources of Stress in your life and show you how to overcome these through the application of specific techniques that are relevant to your own personal situations.
These techniques encourage experiential learning, meaning that so you will practically engage in the behaviors necessary to change the way you react to stressful situations and learn how to more effectively manage them.
In addition, through the application of easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, you will learn how to recognize your Stress Triggers and Symptoms and also how create you own personal plan for Stress Management and Reduction between sessions.
The powerful tools and techniques I employ in therapy draw on Evidence-Based techniques drawn from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relaxation, Mindfulness and much more. These same techniques can help you to gain new insights into your personal Stress Responses as well as show you how to apply New Adaptive Responses to Emotional Triggers.
You will also learn how to have mastery over your emotional experiences so you can reduce or eliminate the effects and symptoms of Stress, achieve balance and a sense of well-being in your life. These practical and easy to implement techniques can easily be incorporated into the busiest lives.
Are you ready to overcome the stressors in your life?
The simple yet effective techniques I teach will help you manage the stressful situations you face, help you find peace and foster happiness and success in your life.
By choosing to apply only the techniques you find most effective for your own personal circumstances, you will not only strengthen your level of tolerance and acceptance of painful or distressing feelings, but also build your confidence in your own ability to effectively manage stressful situations, achieve your therapeutic goals while at the same time increasing your Resilience level and greater Self-Reliance.
Some of the specific Stress Management & Resilience Building Strategies I use with clients:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy forms the basis of most resiliency-building approaches because it targets our thoughts and, challenge how we as individuals view our reality.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) or Self-Acceptance.
ACT recognizes the fact that as individuals, we all have unpleasant thoughts and feelings which we may try to avoid or deny because we would rather not experience them.
ACT teaches us how to accept ourselves and to fully embrace our thoughts and feelings instead of trying to suppress or deny them. By accepting our thoughts and feelings exactly as they are and letting them come and go easily and naturally, we learn to most effectively manage and master them.
Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)
Stress Inoculation Training is designed to teach you the skills you need to increase your resistance to stress and prepare you to respond to stressful events in more productive ways.
Stress Inoculation Training consists of three stages:
In the first stage the focus is on helping you better understand the nature of stress and its effects. The second stage centers on the acquisition and rehearsal of the skills needed in order to develop and practice a repertoire of coping skills so that you respond more effectively in stressful situations. The third and final stage of SIT involves the application of the learned coping skills in conditions similar to the real settings which previously caused the stress.
To increase the effectiveness of SIT training, I use Guided Imagery under hypnosis so you can apply your newly learned Coping skills gradually across increasing levels of stress. Both Guided Imagery and Hypnosis constitute effective stress management interventions in themselves because they produce such deep states of relaxation. SIT is pleasant to practice, easy to learn, and can help you to release stress quickly.
One major advantage of using SIT as a resilience-building therapeutic tool is that it addresses the root cause of your problems and helps you understand why you are stressed, rather than simply removing the symptoms of stress. This means that the benefits last longer than with other therapies which focus solely on relieving the physical effects of stress (e.g. drug therapy).
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a method of stress reduction first described by Edmund Jacobson in 1938, and involves the sequential tensing and releasing of major skeletal muscle groups with the aim of inducing relaxation by activating the body's natural relaxation response. I also combine PMR with deep breathing techniques for additional stress relief.
One of the ways the body responds to stress is with muscle tension. Therefore, activating the body's natural relaxation response will help in effectively combating stress.
A number of studies (Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2000) show that regular practice of PMR can keep stress in check as well as treat stress-related health problems like insomnia and anxiety.
Through this technique you will become familiar with what tension, and what complete relaxation feel like in different parts of your body. This in turn will help you to effectively respond to the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress.
Advantages of using PMR:
Some of the advantages using Progressive Muscle Relaxation include the fact that it requires only a safe space for the you to relax in. It can be practiced sitting up, or lying down, although lying down will allow for deeper relaxation.
Once you have been guided through progressive muscle relaxation sessions, you can practice it on your own at home as an integral part of your behavioural assignments ( homework!)
PMR as a stress management technique is very easy to learn, does not require consistent practice or discipline, can be done just about anywhere, and its effects are almost immediate.
3.Problem-Solving Skills Training (PSST)
Problem-Solving Skills Training as a stress management intervention has been the subject of recent scientific research which showed that it contributes effectively in the reduction of the symptoms of stress-related diseases.
PSST is the process of helping you identify the situation(s) causing stress in your life and then you will be guided to create strategies to effectively manage these situations.
This powerful tool for stress management attempts to remedy the deficits in cognitive problem-solving processing abilities often experienced in stressful situations.
During treatment I will assess your thoughts, and attitudes, including any strategies for problems solving you may already possess, whether you are aware of them or not.
The principal advantage of this type of intervention is that PSST shows you how to practically deal with stress and other problems in a rational, step by step, action-focused way.
Defining the Problem:
Some individuals find it difficult to solve their problems because they cannot clearly define or identify what the actual problem is.
Using PSST, I will show you how to define the many ways stress is affecting your life. I will then show you how to apply a range of therapeutic problem-solving techniques that will enable you to alter your relationship with these problems.
I will also show you how to apply brainstorming to help you generate as many potential solutions to your problem as possible. You will then choose the best solution and take practical action using clearly identified steps to try out the chosen solution. The whole process will be evaluated.
Throughout the process, I will encourage you to reflect on your experience so as to determine whether your chosen solution(s) actually solved your problem or whether some issues require further attention.
PSST as a Stress Management intervention requires flexibility on your part, as well as an ability to adapt your views as necessary while at the same time keeping a positive attitude towards problem-solving in general.
PSST has proven a safe and effective approach for reducing stress and improving the quality of life of clients.
So If you are a teacher struggling with stress:
My Practice is located in the centre of Lewisham South London, and accessible via the Lewisham Railway Station and the DLR.
Most buses near Lewisham Railway Station stop within 2 minutes-walk from the Practice. (I can walk down to meet there you if you'd like!)
I am especially accessible to you if you live in Lewisham, Bromley, Blackheath and Greenwhich.
For Stress Management & Resilience Building Therapy
Call Evelyne now on 07512 139 296
Or email me Stress Management and let’s have a FREE no obligation conversation about how I can help.
Then get in touch and let’s have a no obligationconversation about working together, because taking action is the only thing that makes things happen!
07512 139 296
Hypnotherapy Practice Location:
33 Limes Grove, Lewisham, SE13 6DD