If you ask a group of people, (both health professionals and general public), what the most common cause of illness is, as we do at the beginning of our seminars, you’ll probably get a resounding and enthusiastic answer: stress!
Stress is acknowledged by the therapy community, medical establishment and general public alike as the biggest cause of ill health today. Whether a symptom is back pain, eczema, heart disease, a thyroid problem, headache, digestive issue or virus, it will probably be put down to stress. Stress seems to be the malaise of modern living: it has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. According to the Work Foundation, half a million people in the UK believe they’re suffering from work-related stress at a level that’s making them ill.
Many life experiences can contribute to raised stress levels, including financial worries, significant life changes like marriage, divorce or moving house, family problems, and concerns about health itself.
Stress as we know it is not the answer!
There are several problems with the way we use the term 'stress':
- The term so widely used, it’s almost meaningless
- Different emotions & different symptoms of stress
- 577 possible causes – where do we start!
- Dr's – put most symptoms down to stress, but don’t offer options 4 dealing with it, because not experts in psychology
- Feel we’re somehow responsible & to blame for our health issues, we should be able to cope – puts us under more stress!
Firstly, the word itself: stress is so widely talked about, that the term has become almost meaningless. It’s a blanket term used for a whole host of different emotions: overwhelm, social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry, inferiority, feeling out of control, anger and irritation, to name a few!