Stress is a feeling which is created when we react to specific events. It’s the body’s way of meeting a challenge in addition to preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina as well as heightened alertness.
It is often the life coach’s job to help their clients deal with stressful situations that they find themselves in. However, before we look at coping mechanisms that life coaching professionals can teach clients, we’ll have a look at what happens biologically when people become stressed.
The events which provoke stress are called stressors. These cover a wide range of situations – everything from outright physical danger to making a presentation to a large audience or preparing for and writing an exam.
The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals to the adrenal glands that these must produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and releases these into the bloodstream.
These hormones speed up the following things:
- Heart rate,
- Breathing rate,
- Blood pressure, as well as
Blood vessels open wider in order to allow more blood flow to large muscle groups which puts our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate so that vision can be enhanced. The liver releases some of its glucose which has been stored to increase the body’s energy. Sweat is produced so that the body is cooled. All of these physical changes allow a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, the body’s stress response enhances a person’s ability to perform properly under pressure. However, the stress response can also lead to problems when it overacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.
Good stress and bad stress
The stress response is critical during emergy situations It can also be activated in a milder form at the time when the pressure’s on but there’s no actual danger such as sitting down to write an exam.
Long-term stressful situations can lead to lasting, low-level stress that are hard on people. The nervous system detects continued pressure and may remain slightly activated. The system will continue to pump out extra stress hormones over a protracted period. This can wear out the body’s reserves, leave a person feeling exhausted or overwhelmed weaken the body’s immune system and cause other problems.
Consuming too much sugar or caffeine can cause physical symptoms which are similar to anxiety. These include heart palpitations and feeling dizzy. In addition, these may exacerbate stress. If you’re having quite a stressful day, try to steer clear of coffee and sugar.
Use relaxation techniques to combat stress
Meditation, mindfulness in addition to deep breathing exercises can all assist you with managing stress when it arises. There are plenty of apps which are available to help you learn these techniques.
Get active and into the gym
If you don’t do any exercise at the moment, increasing activity levels can be a good idea to decrease stress. Exercise assists in reducing stress and improving overall health and well-being. The key to remaining consistent is to pick an activity that you really enjoy.
If you want more information about other life coaching techniques, we really recommend that you do our life coaching course. For more information, please follow this link.