Stress Management #01

A certain amount of stress is a good thing; it keeps us alert and ready for action. Too much stress, however, can work against us, causing symptoms such as:

  • muscle tension
  • headaches
  • sleep disturbances or insomnia
  • loss of appetite or comfort eating
  • irritabilty
  • poor concentration
  • anxiety
  • raised blood pressure

    Stress can also affect the immune system, making us more susceptible to minor illnesses and infections, such as colds. If high stress levels are maintained over long periods of time there are indications that this has a cumulative effect that may contribute towards a higher risk of more serious conditions, such as heart attacks or stomach ulcers.

    Most of the ailments that lead to us taking time off work are the minor ones. There is strong evidence that taking more responsibility for our own health can reduce the amount of illness we experience. Examples of caring for ourselves are:

  • recognising what makes us feel under pressure
  • paying more attention to what we eat
  • making regular time to relax
  • asking for help or support when we need it


    Touch has a soothing effect. What do we do if something hurts? It is a natural response to rub the area to relieve the discomfort, rather than immediately reaching for the painkillers. Shiatsu, massage and Indian head massage are all touch-based therapies whose origins go back many centuries and have been used successfuly to maintain good health as well as treating problems.

    Shiatsu is based on oriental theory and is useful for both deep relaxation and treatment of specific conditions. Massage techniques are effective for relaxing the muscles, improving circulation and relieving pain.

    Complementary therapies can calm both the body and the mind to a degree that is far removed from the state of tension that often becomes normal to us. Imagine taking yourself out of your everyday situation for a short while, allowing yourself to unwind and let go of the things that cause you stress. Used on a regular basis or as an occasional treat, these therapies can help to prevent the build-up of stress and increase your sense of wellbeing.