What is stress?

We all encounter stress at times. Indeed, some people cannot imagine their lives without stress, so what exactly is stress?

Stress can be looked at as the natural physiological response to a perceived threat (real or imagined). Stress is the preparation of our body to take action. During this response, many changes occur in the body; for example - our hearts beat faster to supply the muscles with more blood, preparing us for immediate action. Various chemicals, known as hormones, are produced in the body to prepare it to either confronting the danger or running away. This physiological reaction is thus referred to as the 'fight or flight' response.

It is therefore natural to have stress. However, while we need some stress to supply us with motivation, energy and zest, long term stress - or high levels of short-term stress are dangerous, and can lead to (or at least contribute to) a wide spectrum of ailments - this is where stress becomes harmful, this is 'negative stress'.

Our body doesnt differentiate between physical threat and emotional one. When we argue with our boss, or excited towards a coming promotion - our body reacts as if it is in a real life-threatening danger. Our society and culture are modern, yet our body is ancient - and reacts in an ancient way

Short-Term Stress

Short-term stress is the result of an extreme life event (or events) that disrupts our balance. Under this category you con find not only events such as death of a close friend or family member, loss of job or injury, but also 'good' events - such as promotion, marriage or birth of a child. When our bodymind balance is shaken, when we are under extreme stress - we are more susceptible to illness and diseases - and should aim at regaining the balance. When dealt with, however, short-term stress can be balanced with relative ease. Our body is naturally 'tuned' to be balanced and healthy.

Long-Term Stress

Our body is not built to deal with long-term threat. Initially, stress was created to ensure our safety in the face of danger - not to be carried for years due to a hectic life-style. During stress, our whole bodymind functioning is altered, and when carried for long time - many systems are effected and harmed. Long-term stress is the gradual, yet constant corrosion of our body and mind. It is one of the major causes for many ailments, difficulties and suffering.

How do I know if I suffer from negative stress?

The following list of symptoms is only partial, but should give you a general idea of stress-symptoms. While symptoms require medical assessment, if you recognize a large number of signs - you would probably benefit from stress-management techniques:

Common symptoms of stress

Lack of appetite

Craving for food

Substance abuse

Frequent crying

Digestive problems

Sleeping problems

Lack of concentration

Loss of control

Decreased sex drive

Sexual difficulties

Constant tiredness

Memory problems

Nail biting


Anger or aggression

Loss of sense of humor

Feeling unable to cope

Increased negativity

Panic attacks and anxiety



Physical symptoms


Muscle tension



Non-specific pains




Constipation or diarrhoea

Teeth grinding

Breathing problems


Nervous twitches

Eczema & Psoriasis

Increased Sweating

Fainting spells

Frequent colds

Menstrual irregularity

Tremors and shaking


High blood Pressure

Frequent infections

What to do if I suffer from stress?

When stressed-up, many people turn to Alcohol, cigarettes, tranquillizers and drugs. In the long term, however, it serves to further increase stress levels and dependency. Even in the short term - turning to these activities does not solve the problem.

By recognizing that you suffer from stress you have made a first and important step towards health and balance. The next logical step would be to seek advice. Some people can easily change habits and behavior-patterns, alter diet and learn to relax from reading self-help books or listening to relaxation cassettes. However, most people find it easier to change when they are supported and advised by a professional therapist.

What is stress management?

A stress manger is a helping professional who specializes in stress issues: identification; assessment and evaluation; prevention; addressing stress-related problems and education for future balance.

Stress management is done in two stages - Prevention and Intervention.

Prevention: this is mainly an education quest. Together with the stress manager you will learn to identify stressors in your life, and to reduce stress levels. This stage will focus on preventing stress before it harms your health and in maintaining healthy levels of stress.

Intervention: When you are already suffering from stress-related problems - we take action. The intervention stage is done through many approaches, including relaxation techniques, hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis, psychotherapeutic approaches and bodywork. It will also look at many of your life patterns - such as diet, habit control, physical activity and environment and try to reduce unnecessary stressors from your life. However, since there are many things you cant change - a core theme in the stress-management sessions is the development of coping skills. You will learn to react differently to stress, in a healthier and more balanced way.

Within the Stress-management session, both prevention and intervention are inevitably interlinked in order to help you to reduce your stress levels. Our modern lifestyle is extremely hectic and is a great burden on our natural body and mind. You cannot overestimate the importance of taking care of yourself and balancing your stress levels. By doing so, you will undoubtedly contribute to your well being. Achieving balanced stress-levels and allowing the stress to work for you rather than against you is a true, yet attainable virtue.

Stress-management takes a holistic approach to human health - and is focused around balanced bodymind. It is an innovating experience, which is extremely useful for many ailments and pains.