2 Stress Triggers you want to find out more about

Updated: Jul 28


What is Stress?

“STRESS” is a much easier word to say than it is to define.

There are different types and causes of stress with varying degrees of intensity, essentially arising from the pressures that we feel in life, and how we react to them.

It is quite normal to feel anxious and become stressed when facing something that upsets the normal balance of day to day life.


How Stressed are you?

There are some well-documented physical symptoms that can be indicators of stress. We may refer to these as “stress-related” symptoms:

  • Obsessive thinking (often that keeps you awake at night)

  • Behaviour changes - aggression, withdrawal

  • Digestive upsets – bloating, constipation, diarrhoea

  • Headaches, impaired memory

  • Muscular tension and pain, neck shoulder and low back pain,cramps, muscle spasms

  • Palpitations, chest pain, high blood pressure

  • Anxiety, loss of humour, depression, negative thoughts,

  • Inability to concentrate and difficulty making decisions

  • Weaker immune system and being more susceptible to illness

The time/s of day when these symptoms arise is usually very significant, as is the date when you either first or most recently experienced them.


So what might a Stress Trigger be for you?

Since Stress is such a vast subject, and how it affects out physical health is the topic of much research, in this post I’ll be sharing with you on just two main sorts of Stress Trigger.

When I am helping my clients resolve chronic “stress-related symptoms” and increase their resilience to stress, these are the two types of stress I identify and explore more deeply with them.

I refer to these as “The Sledge-Hammer” and “The Drip-Drip” Stress Triggers.


“The Sledge-hammer” Trigger:-

This one comes straight out of the blue at you, usually head on, and hits you hard, just as if it were a sledgehammer.


The characteristics of the Sledge-Hammer Trigger are that it is unexpected, very dramatic, often leaving you feeling very isolated, and you have no strategy in place or previous similar experience of it to be able to deal with it. In the instant that it happens, you don’t know what to do; your brain takes a full snapshot of the entire event as you see and experience it, and your “fight or flight” response is triggered. When all this happens, you become STRESSED.


Examples of these sort of stress trigger events might be:

  • a scary medical diagnosis;

  • a redundancy notice arriving in the mail

  • receiving a text message on your mobile phone that hurts or shocks you.

Big life shock events such as being involved in an accident or a natural disaster would also come into this category.


The Drip-Drip Trigger:-

This is a stress trigger that happens any time you get a conscious OR subconscious REMINDER of your Sledge-Hammer trigger.


Remember, your brain took a snapshot of that entire event and recorded everything you saw and experienced in that one unexpected. dramatic moment.


So now, when anything comes up to remind you (consciously or unconsciously), your “fight or flight” response can still get triggered.


Using the previous Sledge-Hammer examples as a reference, examples of a Drip-Drip (REMINDER) trigger might be:

  • seeing a doctor in a white coat (reminds you of the doctor who gave you that scary diagnosis)

  • an unexpected official-looking envelope arriving through your mailbox (reminding you of the envelope your redundancy notice arrived in);

  • getting a notification on your mobile phone that you just received a text message

Whilst you may not be consciously aware of the connection between the SledgeHammer Moment and the Drip-Drip Reminder, our mind-brain-body connection has already been made in less than an instant. This can result in a physical body response that you DO notice, and some common examples of these reported by my previous clients might be:

  • an anxiety attack

  • feeling weak at the knees

  • feeling nauseous or actually being sick

  • the mouth becoming dry

  • ringing in ears

How can we stop these Symptoms?

Let's not forget that your body’s response to stress is part of an intelligent, highly sophisticated mechanism designed to keep you safe from danger. It's an ancient body mechanism trying to serve you and keep you safe ... but now we are living in quite a different modern world than that of our primitive cave-dwelling ancestors. If they had not been so equipped, then would they have survived at all, and would we be here to tell their tale?


So we can work WITH this mechanism and learn to manage our old and unresolved stress reactions and responses in new ways that break or interrupt some of our old patterns (often that have been anchored into place for many years, even since childhood).


To do this effectively, we need to understand more deeply what makes us stressed, and ensure we have new strategies in place to build future resilience. This means doing some work on as many as 6 different levels:

  • Mental

  • Physical

  • Emotional

  • Spiritual

  • Social

  • Environmental

It’s interesting to note, isn’t it, that when we feel healthy, happy and loved, our entire life force energy feels strong and vibrant. Our resilience to stress is so much higher than, for example, when we feel low or isolated, or perhaps after we’ve experienced a series of stressful events close together that have had a knock-on effect and worn us down, deteriorating our energy levels and our vitality, and lowering our mood.


Helping your body repair and rebalance

There is so much you can do to support your own health and wellbeing in coping and managing stress, and to lift your own resilience and vitality.


Nutrition - Poor diet can lower your resilience to stress (e.g. low levels of Vit B12, depleted Magnesium levels). Book a consultation a Naturopathic Nutritionist for expert advice.


Medication - Be aware that certain drugs can contribute to symptoms of stress and anxiety, including caffeine, nicotine, cold remedies, thyroid medications. You may be able to explore more natural alternatives.


Exercise – Even 20 minutes brisk walking a day can make a difference. It’s an instant calm-me-down when you’re feeling tense, and boosts the body’s feel-good chemicals. Walk, swim, do sport, cycle, dance. Whatever you can manage. As often as you can.


SleepBetween the hours of approx 8 pm and 8 am your body is busy repairing, renewing and rebalancing itself. This is why symptoms can sometimes feel stronger at night. So give yourself plenty of rest. If you feel tired, listen to your body. If you are not sleeping well, increasing movement and exercise during your daytime hours can be a big help.


Therapies - Holistic therapies such as Body Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Reiki or Hopi Ear Candles are not only relaxational but can also help soothe and rebalance you on many levels. With a 15+ year background in holistic therapies, feel free to email me and share a little more about yourself if you would like a few thoughts and recommendations.


Relaxation – set aside some quality Me Time atleast once a week, if not on a daily basis (soak in the bath, reading a book, a country walk etc). Activities such as Yoga or Tai Chi can be very helpful, as can Mindfulness or Meditation. Find out about my upcoming online Learn to Love to Meditate Course.


Still Stuck?

Wherever you are on your own health and wellbeing journey, please know that you ALWAYS have options and choices.


If you feel like you've already tried everything and have run out of ideas and run out of steam, and your stress-related chronic symptoms are still as bothersome as ever, I can help! Join me for a free online Discover Call and you'll get a complimentary Lifestyle Prescription™ to take away and get your health and wellness action plan started!



Want to feel better?


Then let's get started. Click below to book your free Discovery Call today.


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