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stressEustress vs distress

In our lives we come across two different kinds of stress. Eustress is often seen as ‘good’ stress which enables us to experience excitement and gives us the ability to enjoy our lives. Distress is the opposite and is very damaging to our health.

Our bodies were originally designed to deal with stress in one or two ways – fight or flight. So when our ancestors came across a stressful situation (e.g meeting a sabre toothed tiger) stress allowed her to respond quickly to the threat. The hormones of our body created an environment for us to act.

These days our stress levels are likely to be affected by work, money issues, children and family in general. And instead of the immediate response of a flood of adrenaline which then quickly dissipates allowing our bodies to return to a calmer place we are likely to experience a long term level of stress with the stress hormones swilling around indefinitely and causing havoc to our well being.

Psychologically stress can affect our mood, our relationships, our view on life and our ability to function at our optimum performance – whether at home or at work.

Physically the effects of stress can be frightening:
• Heart problems
• High blood pressure
• Dizziness
• Panic attacks
• Hyperventilation
• Menstrual problems

Even the ‘lower level’ effects can have a significantly negative effect on our day to day lives:

• Increase in aches and pains
• More likely to have coughs and colds
• More likely to be affected by allergies
• Indigestion, heart burn and stomach ulcers
• Constipation, diarrhoea or IBS
• Weight issues
• Nausea

Reflexology and Thai Foot Massage can be used in a whole arsenal of tools to combat this stress.

As I mentioned last week – if we don’t look after ourselves then how can we look after others?

The benefits of these therapies – and others are:

• helps relaxation
• improves mood
• aids sleep
• helps relieve tension

 

And finally it can bring about an improvement in our sense of well-being.

What’s not to like?stress2

Information from International Stress Management Association UK – http://www.isma.org.uk/about-stress/how-to-identify-stress.html


I often find myself at ‘pamper parties’ and ‘pamper evenings’ and it took me to musing how we see ourselves when we have treatments such as reflexology.

What is it with this word ‘pamper’?

stress-391654_1280Seems a little self indulgent and a little naughty. Perhaps even something we do not entirely deserve.

I would argue having a reflexology treatment is not about ‘pampering’ – it is deeper and more fundamental than that. It is about well being.

It is about making sure we are operating at the optimum level for ourselves and others.

Whatever way we look – women are still the majority primary carers for children and others. We carry out most of the housework as well as often holding down a job. Men have their own responsibilities and expectations.

All of this is draining and tiring. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. It is impossible for us to keep this level of activity up without it having some kind of detrimental effect on our bodies, our minds and our souls. This could be physical symptoms of stress and tension, mental health issues or even the day to day mild panic which stops us from enjoying our lives.

So any time we give over to re charging our batteries and making sure we take care of ourselves is time well spent. We are not ‘pampering’ ourselves. We are looking after our own well being so we can continue to work as hard as we do looking after others. This counts for men as well as women.

Because if we don’t look after ourselves then how can we look after others effectively?
So the next time you consider a complementary therapy treatment as a pamper consider thinking of it differently.

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Think of it as essential self maintenance.