Coping with Stress


Stress coping techniques using NLP

When we struggle with problems we feel the effects of coping with stress. Stress can be an acute response to uncomfortable situations the ‘fight or flight’ response. An acute stress response results in behavioural and hormonal changes, and physiological changes. Nervous reactions such as sweating, blushing, fidgeting, mouth going dry, butterflies in the stomach are all indicators that an acute stress response is happening. Often this will be paired with a trigger of some kind, which may be familiar so by just thinking about the trigger is enough to remember, or even experience the individual symptoms of acute stress. The good news is that NLP Therapy can develop alternative, positive ways of coping with stress.

Episodic acute stress affects us when triggers start becoming an everyday occurrence and maybe there’s several of them in the environment, so the body finds a different means of coping with stress, generating different behavioural and hormonal changes. Headaches, unexplained physical aches and pains, low or depressed mood, increased susceptibility to common viruses, poor concentration, forgetfulness, changes in appetite, and poor sleep are all features of episodic acute stress. Episodic acute stress is common in the workplace, pressure to succeed and perhaps juggle a home and family commitments can all contribute. Often people in this situation are always in a rush, but frequently late, have too much on their plate and emotionally are short tempered, irritable, anxious and tense. When we struggle with problems we feel the effects of stress. NLP can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, addressing the problem reduces the level of stress so not only do we feel better emotionally, we feel physically better too.

Recognising the effects of stress is the first step, and you may have already identified that you have a problem. This is often followed by attempts to address the stress. Taking painkillers for the headaches, trying to get more sleep, changing diet are all examples of how we deal with it. These are positive, there are other ways which aren’t so positive, of which drinking more alcohol, comfort eating, and increased smoking are the most common (these do nothing to alleviate the symptoms, just masking them, and may cause additional problems).

So why look for alternative coping strategies?

Well, work related stress can double ones risk of dying from heart disease (British Medical Journal, 2002) and is linked to the 6 leading causes of death – heart disease, lung cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide (The Stress Solution; an Active Plan to manage the stress in your life; Miller, L. H. and Dellsmith, A. 2002). This happens because acute stress, over time, becomes chronic stress.

It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that talk therapies are more effective and beneficial than drug therapy as a response to stress. An NLP approach addresses the causes of the stress, rather than just working with the symptoms. If you experience any of the following, take it as a good indicator that it may be a good time to make some changes:

  • You feel trapped, like there’s nowhere to turn
  • You worry excessively and can’t concentrate
  • The way you feel affects your sleep, your eating habits, your job, your relationships, your everyday life



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