I have been reading a book called The Food and Mood Handbook by Amanda Geary, I have been finding it very helpful and really easy to read.
She talks about how our ability to cope with stress determines how healthy we are, or as she puts it
“health can be seen as a measure of how well we adapt to the various stressors which are all around us.”
Life’s stressors, as I am sure most of us are aware, are different from one person to the next. What some of us find ok, others will really struggle with. If life’s stressors become too much then we can fall ill, both physically and emotionally.
So what stressors do we suffer, well we have environmental stress (our surroundings), financial stressors, health stressors (both emotional and physical), family and work stressors, the list goes on and I am sure you can add to the list.
So what’s the best way to help with life’s stressors and help prevent illness, in the book Amanda talks about taking a ‘holistic view and to consider the whole picture’, this put basically means we look at every part of your life. Which is what I do when working with clients, I get a big picture of all life so far, up until the point you come to see me. We will also discuss the future and where you wish to be.
What captured my attention from this book is the way Amanda talks about our ability to cope with, adapt to, the stressors in life. We all have strengths and weaknesses and when it comes to how well we deal with stress, some can be down to our genes 🧬, some can be due to our personality, some can be down to life and it’s experiences so far or it may be all that helps or hinders our ability to cope.
She refers to ‘total load’, what causes us stress and how we cope with it, in an analogy using a bath tube. I have talked about the ‘stress bucket’ of life during therapy and most clients really get it, I feel this takes it a step further.
So this is Amanda’s bath 🛁
We all have a different sized bath, we all have different stressors in life and these flow into our stress bath through the taps. We will experience different types of stress, you may have more than 1 or 2 taps feeding into you bath, you may find that it is also dependent on what is happening in your life at the moment. Normal life may have 1 or 2 taps, then something in life happens and we could go from the usual 1 or 2 taps (which we can cope with just fine) to maybe 4 or 5 taps of stress flowing in. They may also be flowing at different speeds, you may have a dripping tap of work stress, a steady flowing tap of family stress and a full on tap of health stress, for example. All these taps are affecting our physical, mental and emotional stress levels and health.
So the bath can cope with a certain amount of water/stress flowing into it and we have the normal out flow, through the plug hole in the bottom of the bath that is unplugged. What is flowing in will flow out again, for example work load at work may increases due to a member of staff calling in ill. Stress may well increase during the shift at work, but when we get home, kick our shoes off and chill for the evening (maybe a hot bath or watch some tv or go for a walk in green space) the outlet is able to drain away the stress.
Now what if the bath begins to fill, what’s flowing in to the bath is flowing faster than what is flowing out, or there is no time to chill to allow the excess stress to flow out. The bath will then over flow. You have reached your personal ‘threshold’. As we know a bath has an over flow. However we don’t want the water to flow out the over flow and spill out onto the carpet, we need something to catch it, a bucket for example, to keep the carpet dry.
What is our bucket? What is stopping your stress from hitting the floor?
Well that could be medication to help you with a physical disorder or an emotional one, it could be adjusting your diet and increasing the amount of exercise you are getting (moving your body more in whatever way YOU enjoy), it could be a visit to someone like myself, a therapist, it could be that your first port of call is your GP and that is the best place to start.
Something you need to be aware of is will your bucket be a temporary fix, if you are unable to improve the flow of stress flowing in to your bath then will the bucket begin to over flow?? Sometimes in life we now we are just going through a tough time and we know it will end, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and just need a temporary fix to help us through. Sometimes there will be no light and we need to do something about it, if you decide not too then your body will fight back in some way to get you to listen to it, to help it to cope or reduce the stress. So listen to your body, if it needs help coping with stress then do something about it.
This is where therapy really can help, I am a hypnotherapist and I am also a BWRT® practitioner, these therapies can help you to get your flow back to a comfy level.
It is time to look after you 😊
BWRT® (BrainWorking Recursive Therapy) is not a form of hypnosis, it works in a different way to hypnosis and is fast and effective.