You Don't Have to be Stressed

Stress is an important factor in any allergic condition and we would urge to take whatever steps are necessary to reduce your stress level.

Events that bring change are the source of most external stress factors. In the USA a sample list has been compiled by Drs. Thomas Holmes and Richard Rabe of Washington Medical School.

Scores are added up to give a “stress” level. A score of 160 or more on this list indicates a high probability of health being affected. It cannot be over­emphasised how very differently people react to stress. In some cases scores of 400 plus have been shown to have no apparent effect on health.

Remember, it’s not just one situation but continual stress that leads to problems, so if it’s feasible, space your changes as much as you can. Often, however, you won’t have control over events, so the objective is to adapt your response to them.

Death of husband / wife 100
Large mortgage taken out 31
Divorce 73
Child leaves home 29
Marital separation 65
In-law problems 29
Jail sentence 63
Major personal achievement 28
Death of close family member 63
Wife starts / stops work 56
Illness or injury 53
Starting / leaving school 26
Marriage 50
Change in living conditions 25
Loss of job 47
Trouble with employer 23
Retirement 45
Change in residence 20
Health problems of close family 44
Change in recreation 19
Pregnancy 40
Small mortgage or bank loan 17
Sex problems 39
Change in sleeping habits 16
Major change at work 39
Change in family get-togethers 15
Change of financial status 38
Change in eating habits 15
Death of a close friend 37
Christmas or other festivals 12
Increase in marital arguments 35
Minor violation of law 11

Signs of Stress

Some of the symptoms below may derive from causes other than stress, but if several are present concurrently, stress is probably a major factor in their origin:

Physical symptoms of stress:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Craving for food when under pressure
  • Frequent indigestion or heartburn
  • Constipation or diarrhoea Insomnia
  •  Constant tiredness
  • Tendency to sweat for no good reason
  • Nervous "tics"
  • Nail biting
  • Headaches
  • Cramps and muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness without exertion
  • Fainting spells
  • Frequent crying or desire to cry
  • Impotence or frigidity
  • Inability to sit still without fidgeting
  • High blood pressure

Mental symptoms of stress:

  • Constant irritability with people
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Lack of interest in life
  • Constant or recurrent fear of disease
  • A feeling of being a failure
  • A feeling of being bad or self-hatred
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • A feeling of ugliness
  • Loss of interest in other people
  • Awareness of suppressed rage or anger because of inability, for whatever reason
  • Inability to show your true feelings
  • Difficulty in letting go and laughing
  • A feeling of being the target of other people's animosity
  • Feeling neglected
  • Dread of the future
  • A feeling of having failed as a partner or parent
  • A feeling of having no-one whom you can really confide in
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • The inability to finish one task properly before having to rush on to the next
  • An intense fear of open or enclosed space or of being alone

Reducing Stress

  • Work no more than ten hours daily
  • Have at least one and a half days each week free from normal work routine
  • Eat slowly and chew well
  • Cultivate the habit of listening to relaxing music
  • Practise relaxation and/or meditation at least twice (ideally three) times daily for no less than 15 minutes each time
  • Actively cultivate the habit of walking, talking and moving at a slower pace
  • Smile and respond cheerfully whenever meeting anyone
  • Plan one "away from it all" holiday each year
  • Take 10 minutes daily (or 20 minutes four times weekly) for physical exercise, some of it preferably outdoors, so you get the added benefit of fresh air and full spectrum light
  • Examine your eating pattern and balance the diet
  • If emotional and/or sexual relationships are upsetting you, seek advice
  •  If you’re unhappy at work, take stock and look at choices (retraining, new areas of work, job agencies. etc)
  • Cultivate a hobby that’s creative rather than competitive (gardening, painting, do-it-yourself) and spend time on it
  • Have a regular massage or join a yoga class
  • Concentrate on the present, avoiding the tendency to dwell on past events and future uncertainties
  • Work and act methodically, that is finish one task before starting another
  • Express your feelings openly and without antagonism or hostility
  • Don’t accept, or set yourself, unrealistic deadlines. What can’t be done one day can wait until the next
  • Don’t rely on drugs, blaming others or other props in order to cope: accept responsibility your own life

Telephone: 01974 241376   e-mail: Ffynnonwen Natural Therapy Centre