Understanding Stress and its Roots

Trainer and Coach for sound stress management

Guide in the Discovery for the Lightness of Being

Stress management

Stress Management

What is stress?

The term “stress” comes from the English language and means to put emphasis on something but it also means pressure or tension. The underlying Latin word “stringere” means to tense.

The term “stress” actually comes from material’ science, where stress is understood to mean material fatigue caused by tension or pressure on a material.

Hans Selye, an Austrian-Canadian physician and biochemist (1907-1982), originally coined the term for materials, later also in a much broader physical context as the “theory of the adaptation syndrome for bodily reactions triggered by stress”: Stress is the “unspecific reaction of the body to any demand”.

This can mean that you e.g. start to sweat, that you have an increased urge to urinate or that your blood pressure rises.
In contrast, stressors are the stimuli that cause or trigger stress (e.g. a customer complaining, a traffic jam, a tax return or a conflict with your partner or boss).

What methods are there for coping with stress?

There are numerous methods for coping with stress – they range from sport and yoga to relaxation exercises, massages and meditation. There are also various approaches that work on the emotional or mental level and “bypass the head”: Examples include Introvision according to Prof. Dr. A.C. Wagner, the EmotionsCode according to Dr. Bradley Nelson and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) according to Dr. Francine Shapiro.

Which stress prevention methods help?

The sympathetic nerve reacts to stress. The release of cortisol (the so-called stress hormone) and adrenaline causes the body to become tense and our senses to become highly concentrated. However, “too much of a good thing” creates a state of alarm.

In short, anything that helps to maintain the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (the nervous system that calms and relaxes the body) is helpful.
Someone who has this inner balance and equilibrium is often said to be “at peace with themselves” or “centered”. He or she is usually balanced, quite calm, relaxed and at the same time clear.
The following are helpful
=> Light (!) sport (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling)
=> yoga
=> meditation
=> Breathing techniques
=> Walks (ideally in nature)
=> If possible, also regular walks in the forest (“Shinrin Yoku” – “taking a bath in the atmosphere of the forest” – the Japanese even have their own word for “forest bathing“!)
=> Reflect regularly and do neither “too much” nor “too little”

How does sport help with stress management?

There are also different forms of sport: Of course, it’s okay if you want to “power out” from time to time, but when it comes to (sustainably) coping with stress, lighter sports are much more suitable: They have the effect of lowering blood pressure and pulse, and ensure the release of dopamine and serotonin, which – at least in this way – lead to feelings of happiness and joy and the reduction of cortisol and noradrenaline or adrenaline, which trigger the symptoms of stress.

Stress management in the workplace

What is the importance of stress management in the workplace?

A basic distinction must be made between eu-stress and dis-stress. The former can be very positive and actually spur us on to top performance.

It is the second type that leads to difficulties: Stress in the workplace has been shown to reduce effectiveness at work and often interacts with anxiety [link → to anxiety].
Something becomes “tight” (same word root as “anxiety”!) – you will probably perceive it in your breast and even more often in your throat. It affects free breathing and causes clear, concentrated thinking and work to decrease considerably.
Coping with stress in the workplace means constantly looking for the right balance in terms of the quantity and quality (level of difficulty) of tasks.

Ideally, a job and its tasks should be geared towards your inclinations and strengths.

In positive terms, measures to manage stress in the workplace can have an extremely positive effect on employee motivation and contribute to a good working atmosphere.  

What strategies are there for coping with Stress?  

What is cognitive stress management?

To put it simply and briefly: “From the head / With the help of thinking”.
The word “cognitive” derives from the Latin cognoscere, which means to recognize:

It refers to knowing, thinking and understanding.

I have listed two of the many examples of cognitive stress management below: Link to → What is a cognitive stress management technique?

What is emotional stress management?

In contrast to the purely cognitive approach, this involves incorporating other levels as well. Addressing and reaching these “emotional” levels, which also incorporate a connection to your soul is not so easy, as unfortunately our heads like to “interfere” all the time.

Such approaches include working with the YAGER Code, EMDR, Introvison and the EmotionCode.

Another valuable bridge between the mental and emotional aspects of dealing with stress is the physical aspect:
light sport, yoga, dynamic meditation and MBSR (= mind-based stress reduction) can be enormously helpful.

It starts with allowing yourself to deal with issues differently – a step that many people already struggle with.  

What is individual stress management?

in-dividual means not divisible – another Latin root!
The point is that we are all unique beings: I highly recommend that you take this to heart and appreciate it in yourself. What does that mean in this context?

If you ask yourself what your individual stress management could and should look like, then take the liberty of seeing yourself as a “whole” – which methods and approaches are effective for you and what kind of help or support is supportive for you will be very different from others.

And – as surprising as this may sound – if you recognize and value yourself as an individual, you have already taken an important first step.

So put together your own personal, individual stress management program and find the right components for you!  

Would you like me to accompany you for a while?

Feel free to write to me at hh@roter-faden-coaching.de – I’ll be happy to hear from you. 

Stress Management Coaching

What is stress management coaching?

This type of coaching involves getting the best possible support – and ideally taking a courageous look at everything related to the topic.

If you do this, you are already very reflective – see this as a great opportunity for personal growth and personal development.

Shall we talk about whether you and I could be a good match? Feel free to write to me at hh@roter-faden-coaching.de – I look forward to getting to know you.

What is a stress management coach?

In my view, it is ideally a companion who helps you to find a good way of dealing with stress in your life, on several levels.

What do you mean by stress and stress management?

Stress itself initially means that your system is under tension – if it is “too much”, then the stress degenerates into dis-stress: your system perceives what is happening in your life as unpleasant, scary and threatening – maybe even life threatening – and switches to alarm mode.
From a neuropsychological point of view, the sympathetic nervous system, the main nervous system that helps us to make an effort, perform well and solve problems, has completely taken over; however, the flip side of the coin is the alarm state mentioned above.

Healthy stress management will always aim to restore inner balance.

What is a cognitive technique for coping with stress?

There are a number of effective techniques for coping with stress – including on a mental level. Most of them use the power of imagination. Two that are particularly effective and quick to implement are the zoom and slow-motion techniques, both of which are also very helpful for anxiety:

Zoom technique

Look at yourself and the entire stress-inducing situation from the outside as far as you can. Then ‘zoom out’ so that you can now see the whole scene from five, ten and then a hundred meters above you (and suddenly a lot of things around you come into view again).
Pay attention – with interest and curiosity, but without interfering – to your feelings and what changes.

Slow motion technique  

This works in a similar way and is particularly suitable for scenes and imagery that your mind offers you, i.e. non-real images and video snippets, so to speak, of future scenarios that are part of you may be afraid of.
If something like this happens, slow down the sequence of images to slow motion!
The horror of the images and “head videos” will be significantly reduced very quickly.

Why not do the test?
If you watch a horror movie or psychological thriller – and especially the most gruesome and suspenseful scenes – at a very slow speed and switch off the sound if possible, certain scenes will seem grotesque or even silly, but no longer threatening.    

What are internal stressors – examples?

Internal stressors are triggers that our head – our thinking apparatus -, “produces”. It tells us a story and naturally wants us to believe it.

Such a chain of thoughts is almost always accompanied by emotions: In other words, pseudo-feelings triggered by the thoughts, which, however, come across as deceptively real and like to magnify the effect of the story.

What are internal and external stressors?

Internal stressors are caused by thoughts and chains of thoughts.
These in turn are controlled by the sum of beliefs and imperatives that we carry around with us. They are formed at a very early age, but in most cases we fail to ask ourselves as adults whether all this still suits us or whether it is not time for a change.
Such a chain of thoughts is almost always accompanied by emotions, which are also triggered
by it.

External stressors trigger the inner stories described above – however, they are external stimuli; in short, you can use the acronym VAKOG known from NLP (neuro linguistic programming). :

V = Visual stimuli trigger something in us
A = Auditory stimuli, something we hear triggers a chain of thoughts or inner story
K = Kinesthetic, sensations that are triggers through feeling, touch, touching
O = Olfactory influences, i.e. smells that may evoke old memories
G = Gustatory impressions – tastes that evoke old images or stories.    

What is stress management coaching?

This type of coaching involves getting the best possible support – and ideally looking at everything related to the topic with a lot of courage.
If you do this, you are already a very reflective person – see this as a great opportunity for personal growth and personal development.

Would you like to talk about this topic further?
Feel free to write to me at hh@roter-faden-coaching.de – I look forward to getting to know you.

Resilience and stress management

What is resilience and stress management?

This term is derived from the Latin: resilire (to bounce back, to rebound, not to cling).

Simply put, it’s about not letting things get to you (any more) and therefore being better able to cope with stress.

Resilience: the secret of inner strength

Resilience can be a secret of inner strength – but to achieve this, it is necessary to understand the term correctly, or rather, to implement it correctly.

To put it mildly, resilience as a mere method that “adds something on top” so that we can “endure” even more and “function better” is not a good idea. This often ends in us repressing and suppressing things, possibly even more than before.
And quite often it also triggers feelings of guilt – because we should now “function better”, but we don’t. If this is then combined with the so-called “school of positive thinking” (you simply have to see things in a positive light and then everything will be fine), the result is a situation that is not good for us and, above all, not in line with our nature.
In the longer run, that will make us even more unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives. 

If, on the other hand, resilience is seen more as a program or as training for more awareness, if we have the courage to look at things “as a whole”, including our (previous) way of reacting to them, then it becomes more of an exciting concept.

When are you not resilient?

You are not resilient at all if you more or less “let everything get to you” and also see everything as personally relevant: for example, developments or external events are perceived as immediately threatening and you make your own well-being dependent on issues that you have virtually no influence over.   

Who is highly resilient?

Those with a high level of resilience can be both(!):
A perfect repressor or also a person who has learned to distinguish very consciously between what is within their immediate sphere of influence and what does not affect them at all and takes place outside of it; the latter does not exclude feeling compassion for victims of war or people dying of hunger, for example.

Is resilience a strength?

Resilience can be a strength – there are also wonderful linguistic images for this, such as “he/she is firm as a rock” – but it tends to become a weakness if we push away what is hidden within us and see it as “not belonging” to us. Then our demons continue to wreak havoc and we wonder why, despite perhaps various resilience training sessions, we still don’t feel any well-being or joy in life.

How can we strengthen our resilience?

The easiest and quickest way is to start by writing down everything that causes stress in your life on a list. Also note in an extra column what emotions this triggers in you.
In a second step, decide which of these points are within your immediate sphere or circle of influence and what exactly you can do about them now or which points you have little or no influence over.
The third step is really about making an inner decision: Do you want to continue to be influenced in this way and allow your mood and quality of life to be spoiled by things that are beyond your control?

If you would like to explore this in more depth, please write to me – I am happy to hear from you.

What role does resilience play in coping with stress

As mentioned above, resilience can also play a very valuable role in coping with stress if it is not about pushing issues away, but about always consciously looking at them; if you can inwardly “welcome everything” and at the same time know that it doesn’t have to knock you down if you surrender to your life, then you are on a very promising path. The “bouncing back” is then more of an insight into not taking everything personally or taking it less and less personally.

Stress management with the Red Thread (“Red Thread Coaching”) 

Here at Red Thread Coaching, we take a holistic approach to the topic – we talk about the stressors in your life and how you can deal with them.
And we look at how you have dealt with them in the past – how are you doing?
Are they conducive to joie de vivre? Or rather not?

The very fact that you are looking at these texts means that you are a reflective person and (probably) not looking for an “aspirin solution”, but for something that goes into the deeper contexts.

This is a great opportunity for personal growth and – if you wish – I will be happy to accompany you. I look forward to getting to know you! Please contact me here.