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Change and stress

Submitted by on August 28, 2009 – 12:41 pmNo Comment

shutterstock_2465509Change can be stressful but only in the sense that our resistance to change can produce the stress response. First point, stress is not a mental illness, there is too much normal emotion. It can lead to mental illness if it doesn’t stop.

I rather like to think of stress being like a very tight corset, which tightens even more when you think the thoughts which make you scared, angry or withdrawn, all symptoms of the flight, flight, freeze response. These cause physical symptoms to arise from raised heartbeat, hyperventilation, nausea etc. Eventually the stress response becomes a stress habit which is now not just a corset but a straitjacket.

This cycle starts when we feel there is no control. For example,if you are in a job which you really don’t like, most of the time you will think negative thoughts about the job and negative thoughts about any action you might take regarding future work – ‘There are no jobs – because of the credit crunch’, – and boy can you feel your corset tighten!

In effect all those thoughts will give rise to unpleasant feelings which may make you aggressive, want to run away or drink yourself into oblivion.

None of the previous is actually providing you with the solution you want. Another Job.

So, what to do? Well, first, realise that as humans we control very little. Obviously if you are rich and famous you will have more choice, but in the main external events are beyond our control.

So this weekend, know that you feel the way you do because you are having a surge of adrenalin in relation to the external factors you are experiencing and your body chemistry has kicked in to make you run away, fight or freeze. because you have to get on with your life you will be fighting against jacking in your job, not speaking to anyone or thumping the person who queue jumped you. Now you are making yourself feel worse.

So, this weekend, get out in the fresh air and walk.

Start looking at nature and remember that you are also a part of nature but in the high tech age in which we live, we forget that we are humans and treat ourselves like robots.

The change module of the Job Search Programme explains the process of change and how we can link it to our experiences of loss and grief.  If you have recently experienced redundancy as well as any other change such as divorce, new baby house move or loss of friend or family member, your feeling s will be running higher than normal and you may be reactive or sensitive to situations you would previously ignore.

If you find yourself anxious or depressed for more than a month, find a counsellor or tell your G.P. so that they can help you from being overwhelmed.

Don’t judge yourself, this is part of the human condition and uncomfortable when you are in the midst, but it will pass. Our ongoing newsletter once you have completed your Job search programme, will also help you to stay connected. Eventually I will build in a chat room where you can get mutual support from others.

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