Stress and burnout therapy and coaching
Stress and burnout form a serious threat to your physical, emotional and mental health. Don’t wait any longer, get help now! You become over stressed whenever the demands being made on you are greater than your capacity to cope. We can define stress as the emotional, physiological and psychological effects caused by a build up of either internally or externally generated mental pressure.
Struggling with stress and burnout is not a weakness
The last thing that most people who are suffering from excessive stress will admit to is the fact that they are suffering from the effects of stress, or that they cannot handle that stress. They tend to view it as some sort of weakness to even admit to having excessive stress in their lives. It can seem like a weakness to admit to family and work colleagues that they are under too much pressure. They can be afraid that their boss will see it as a sign of weakness, and / or a sign that they cannot do their job properly.
This puts extra worry and stress on the nervous system, making an already poor situation appear to be even more intolerable. Stress can come in many guises. it can be caused by a number of different things. Stress will manifest itself in a myriad of ways, but remember, we all need an amount of stress in our lives to be able to survive, to be able to do our jobs, and to give us the will and the energy to cope with emergencies. Stress is not only helpful and necessary, it can often be a positive force in your life.
Stress can and does affect men and women from all walks of life, young and old, rich and poor, no matter what your job, or even if you have no job. Stress and it’s effects have no respect for your status or position, or lack of it, in life. Most emotional stress is about what may happen – ‘what if this happens, what if that happens?” It has nothing to do with the here and now. Emotional stress is about what we think may occur in the future. In a word, we anticipate some sort of threat to our well being. This feeling, that something of a threatening nature will occur, is the primary factor in causing most of the stress conditions that have such an adverse effect on our lives.
Stress is like a disease. You can catch it from others. You can pass it on. You can suffer from it. Or, you can learn to recognise stress and it’s effects, and you can learn what to do about it. Remember, you are not the only one suffering from stress. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for or to seek professional help Prolonged excessive stress can lead to depression.
Stress and burnout and the effects on your body
Both depression and stress can affect the immune system. This in turn opens you up to certain physical illnesses, such as the high risk of a heart attack. At times of stress or perceived stress, our adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys, release into the bloodstream the hormones Adrenaline, Noradrenaline and Cortisol. These hormones, which are also produced by nerve cells, are very powerful, stimulating chemicals, which affect the heart and almost every organ in our body. The release of these stimulating chemicals into the bloodstream is essential to us. In times of danger they give us the extra energy to help us to run away, or stay and fight. (Fight / Flight) Unfortunately, in this day and age we generally have nowhere to run to; nor do we have the opportunity to fight the danger, even if we could see or understand what it is that is threatening us. Because of this we have generated a new response to danger – we freeze, both mentally and physically. Now we have fight, flight or freeze.
Some of the first signs of the onset of stress on the body include alert breathing rhythms, quickening heart rate, raised blood pressure, nerve activation, muscle tension and release of essential body nutrients. These are all designed to give the body the power to cope with danger, or perceived danger. When we go into Freeze mode, our body finds it difficult to dissipate the excessive build up of Adrenaline etc. If we do not dissipate these hormones and their effects from our system, our ability to produce the vital defence substances known as Interferons is drastically reduced. Interferons are antiviral proteins produced by cells that have been invaded by viruses. Cells that are under attack from viruses release Interferons to provide protection for other cells, which may be open to attack from the invading viruses. They also provide protection against any other organism that tries to invade the body.
So, if we experience prolonged or excessive stress, not only is our body under direct attack from within, it is also far less able to defend itself from even simple external infections such as the common cold. This makes it harder for your body to cope with a wide range of illnesses. The body and mind become more vulnerable to further stress, our general health declines, and we can enter a vicious downward spiral. This can give rise to negative attitudes and actions. Burnout is a manifestation of chronic stress.
Some of the numerous negative effects of stress and burnout:
- Breathing becomes shallow
- Heart rate goes up sometimes it races
- Blood pressure goes up
- Chest pains
- All over tension
- Excessive perspiration
- Minor health problems~ such as upset stomach, headache~ colds, flu, back pain, muscle cramps and missed menstrual periods can increase.
- Skin rashes can appear. If you suffer from a skin complaint, such as psoriasis, it can become aggravated.
- One can suffer a loss of confidence, and can gain a feeling of low self-esteem; a feeling of hopelessness and depression can set in.
- A feeling of intense fatigue can follow you about all day. Even when you wake after sleep, you still feel fatigued and tired.
- Sleep patterns can become distorted, waking at 3 or 4 A.M. Indigestion.
- Your appetite can alter to either a desire to go on a binge, especially on sweet, sugary foods, or, you may suffer a loss of all appetite.
- Self-blame, guilt, cynicism and a sense of total failure set in.
- Anger and resentment at nothing in particular
- A feeling that something is missing. You may find an extreme reluctance to go to work builds up, making it harder to face going to work each day.
- Self-confidence is lower.
- Self-esteem is lower.
- Sex drive is lower, or you can feel sexually unsatisfied.
- Depression can set in.
- You may start to have a greater dependency on alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or drugs.
If Stress is permitted to become established, it becomes a self-reinforcing process, giving rise to more and more negative actions and attitudes. This in turn leads to further stress and withdrawal. Don’t Ignore the symptoms of stress. Worry related stress can affect people who, on the surface, appear relaxed and confident. One thing that you can be sure of is that you are not the only one suffering from stress.
How many of these symptoms do you recognise In yourself? ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM STRESS WHY NOT TAKE THE TEST BELOW? STRESS TEST
Because everyone reacts to stress in his or her own way, no one stress test can give you a complete diagnosis of your stress levels. This stress test is intended to give you an overview only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or psychological care. If in doubt, always consult your medical practitioner or stress consultant. Please tick the box that applies to you. Answer yes, even if only part of a question applies to you. Take your time, but please be totally honest with your answers: Yes No
- I frequently work at home at night, on work which I have brought home
- I feel that there are just not enough hours in the working day to do all of the things that I must do
- I can frequently feel impatient with the speed at which events take place
- At times I can have an extreme reluctance to go to work
- I try to fit more and more tasks into less and less time, resulting in me not allowing time for any unforeseen problems that may arise.
- I feel that there are too many deadlines in my work / life that are difficult to meet
- My self confidence / self esteem is lower
- I can frequently have a vaguely guilty feeling if I relax and do nothing, even for short periods of time
- I find myself thinking about problems to do with my personal / business/ professional life, even when I am supposed to be engaged in recreational pursuits
- I can have a feeling of intense fatigue, even when I wake after sleep
- I can / do find myself finishing other peoples sentences for them
- I have a tendency to eat, talk, move and walk quickly
- My appetite has altered, either to a desire go on a binge, especially on sweet, sugary foods, or have suffered a loss of appetite
- I find myself becoming irritated / angry if the car or traffic in front of me seems to me to be going too slowly / I become very frustrated at having to wait in a queue
- I can feel anger and resentment at nothing in particular a feeling that something is missing, but I don’t know what
- I’m aware that I try to get other people to hurry up / get on with it
- At times I feel depressed, tearful, irritable, all-over tension, short tempered, unusual clumsiness, concentration / memory is impaired, excessive perspiration
- I find that if I have to do repetitive tasks, I become impatient
- I can seem to be listening to other peoples conversation, even though I am in fact preoccupied with my own thoughts
- My sex drive is lower, or I feel sexually unsatisfied
- I find myself grinding my teeth, especially if I am stressed or feeling impatient
- I seem to have an increase in aches and pains, especially in the neck, head, jaw, lower back, shoulders, and chest. For women: Menstrual cycles are erratic, often missed
- At times I am unable to perform work or tasks as well as I used to, or I feel my judgment is clouded / not as good as it was
- I find I have a greater dependency on alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or drugs (whether prescription or not)
- I find that I don’t have time for many interests / hobbies outside of work
A yes answer scores 1 (one), and a no answer scores 0 (zero). Now, total up all of your yes scores:…………………If you score:
4 points or less: You have no need to worry about being prone to stress. You are least likely to suffer from stress-related illness. You are also the least likely to have a stress-related heart attack.
5 – 13 points: You are prone to stress. You are also more likely to suffer from the negative effects of stress. You may possibly be open to stress-related illness. You are in need of stress control management / coaching.
14 points or more: You are the most prone to the negative effects of stress, burnout and stress-related illnesses. Seek therapy and or coaching/counselling and consult your medical practitioner.
How can I help you?
During the intake the current factors causing you stress will be explored as well as stressful situations from the past which you may not have worked through and released. It is important to understand that it is a build-up of different things and it usually is not just work-related. For example, if you have been ill, lost loved ones, had relationship problems or setbacks or something similar this can have a powerful impact on your mental, emotional and physical resilience. Even things we love and care for can be stressful, such as having a baby and expanding your family. Major change forces are always unsettling, even when they are planned for and really wanted. And don’t forget sleep deprivation, this wears you down enormously. If you add one or more of these factors to a demanding job you could very well be experiencing chronic stress.
The treatment is an holistic approach tailored to meet the needs of your personal situation. It involves:
- Understanding the build-up of stress and the respective underlying causes and triggers.
- Learning to listen to the needs of your body and tame the over-thinking mind.
- Step for step guidance in recovering your energy and creating more inner balance.
- Building up your ability to deal more effectively and consciously with stress.
- Defining your boundaries and learning to say know when necessary.
- Learning to incorporate more ‘me-time’ in your life so you have new, healthy energy coming in.
The treatment involves working with practical tools and exercises so you can become self-sufficient.
How many sessions do you need?
Because of the way I work operates on a deep level tackling the root of the problem, the results are long-lasting, successful and in many cases achieved with relatively few sessions. Appointments are usually made once a week in the beginning of the therapy and after a a few sessions the frequency can change to once every two weeks, and then after another few sessions to once every 3 weeks. The average number of sessions is about six and the first session is always an intake. The more serious the burnout the more sessions are usually required, in the sense that they need to be spread out over a longer period.
For further information on the costs, cancellation policy, insurance coverage and contact details please go to the main hypnotherapy page.