First, a story from the past. I once had a friend who was always horizontal – nothing ever stressed or fazed her. She always appeared calm and collected, no matter the circumstance. Many years later I was attending her grandmother’s funeral and yes, of course, she was upset, but as I paid my condolences I remarked on her calm demeanour.
She told me that, as a young girl, her ‘gran’ would always remind her of some core fundamentals in how to deal with stress. This was based around simple breathing exercises and as she got older, gran would add more layers of learning, so that by the time my friend hit her late teens, she was a master at dealing with stress.
Her gran had driven an ambulance in North Africa for the Red Cross in WWII and had experienced some remarkable adventures. She in turn had benefitted from the wise tutelage of a fellow nurse, who taught her everything she knew about stress. It turns out that her fellow nurse’s dad was a leading French psychologist who specialised in stress disorders.
I carry that story with me; it’s one of many and its packed away but I have had plenty of reason to recall it in recent months.
So many people are opening up to me that stress is an issue that they are struggling to contend with.
Welcome to stress city!
I took some time to internalise the client feedback and it’s pretty obvious that the lockdowns have amplified pre-existing stress to unbearable levels.
You see, stress is a natural occurring phenomenon and with most day-to-day stress we have in-built coping mechanisms but there is a limit and beyond that, stress can manifest itself in a number of dangerous ways – both mentally and physically.
We use CBT methods in our clinics to equip clients with the coping skills to deal with those uniquely specific and personal reasons that have led to overeating. In my short video, I introduce a simply coping mechanism for dealing with stress. This is a learned behaviour, one that you have to practice. It’s a great start, I can assure you of that.
Like my childhood friend, she unknowingly started with simple exercises just like in my video above.
You can’t avoid stress but you can learn to manage it.