You can be a stress buster

PUBLISHED: 15:19 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010

MARK NEWEY: “Important to take stock.”

MARK NEWEY: “Important to take stock.”

STRESS is the biggest blight of the modern age. It can kill. It can become part of our everyday life but we don t have to continue living with it, letting it cause havoc to our health, warns therapist Mark Newey. The warning comes in the run-up to Nation

STRESS is the biggest blight of the modern age.

It can kill. It can become part of our everyday life but we don't have to continue living with it, letting it cause havoc to our health, warns therapist Mark Newey.

The warning comes in the run-up to National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday, November 1.

Mark's message is hard-hitting because he says he has seen in his clients the devastating impact stress can have on the health and well-being of those who are severely stressed and ignore it at their own peril.

If left unchecked, stress can result in heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, diabetes, muscle and joint pain, allergies, and insomnia.

Mark said the workplace was one of the most common places for stress, resulting in up to a 50 per cent drop in performance, creating a vicious circle adding to the stress.

But he added once the symptoms were recognised, stress could be overcome by following simple self-help steps, as well as taking expert advice.

Mark said: "Some stress is normal, but it can escalate to such an extent that it results in serious illnesses which can prove fatal.

"It is important that people seriously take stock of their lives and be honest with themselves about their stress levels.

"I hope that by promoting this during National Stress Awareness Day, it will make people think more about it and not ignore it.

"Although the workplace is a leading factor, stress affects all generations, increasingly among young people with pressures from their peers and at school, as well as our elderly who can feel lonely and isolated.

"Stress is one of the biggest problems in our modern society and it is causing unprecedented damage."

Tremendous changes occur in the body during stress, including:

- Increased adrenalin and cortisol levels

- Glucose and insulin levels going up

- Brain wave patterns changing from relaxed alpha waves to more frenetic beta waves

- Palpitations caused by racing breathing and heart rates

- Tightening muscles

All these conditions need to be returned to their natural state and Mark has devised a series of relaxation and therapeutic techniques, as well as recommending a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water, for individuals or groups.

He said one of the simplest, most effective techniques which can be followed is this breathing exercise which can be done anywhere.

Breathe in to the count of five, hold to the count of 10, breathe out to the count of 15 which will force you to squeeze abdominal muscles. Repeat 20 times.

Mark is conducting a survey about stress with clients and visitors to his website at www.winningminds.co.uk/

He has also devised a therapeutic CD to help overcome stress.

Mark Newey is an experienced coach, therapist and NLP practitioner.

His Winning Minds website is at www.winningminds.co.uk/index.asp or call 01799 523040.

STRESS FACTFILE

Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show:

- 70 per cent of doctor visits are triggered by stress

- 85 per cent of serious illnesses derive from stress

- Reported clinical cases of stress doubled between 1990-99, rising from 6.5 million in mid-1990s to 13 million by 2001

- The cost to the country is £13 billion a year


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