Stress affects us all. But do we really know what it is? And while stress can give us purpose, direction and a sense of achievement, it is only when we feel there is constantly too much (we feel overwhelmed) that it becomes a problem (distress).

‘Brain-fog, low energy, when stress becomes di-stress’

We might think that stress is only in the mind, but really it can have some fairly detrimental effects on our physical health as well. Modern life comes with a number of stresses, especially when we throw a global pandemic into the mix. Technology, work-life balance, family and financial struggles can all cause unwanted worries and anxieties that can have negative physical and emotional ramifications. If you struggle with stress, there are a number of ways in which you can help yourself out. From your food habits, to therapies such as Autogenics, you can find help.

What is stress?

In the short term, stress triggers our fight-flight response, allowing us to work more effectively to a deadline or, in the worst case scenario, escape danger. However, we have all felt overwhelmed by stress at one point or another. It is can be as a result of a trigger – be it an event or a thought – causing emotional or physical tension that, if not addressed, can escalate to further problems. The physiological adrenalin response brings about the dry mouth and raised heartbeat familiar to us all.

Every individual reacts differently to the next so any number of things in our lives can make us feel stressed. Triggers at home (our energy and food bills, taking care of our families, as well as ourselves), compete with triggers at work. We can address financial issues by applying for grants for our utility bills, such as Winter Fuel Payments, and check the caps on utility bills.

We know we can help the emotional impact of stress by taking time out of every day to do something different – just for us (meditate, relax, get absorbed in a hobby) which takes our mind off things. This often helps to restore energy and reduce fatigue. Eating well, cutting down sugar and alcohol, will have a positive effect on emotional well-being. Changing habits suddenly can add more stress into the mix! Do a little at a time – small achievable steps.

What impact is stress having on our bodies?

As we have seen, stress has its benefits. However, longer-term stress can have a negative impact on our physical health, since our minds and bodies are inextricably linked, and impact each other. So what exactly happens inside our bodies when we are stressed?

Firstly, the body releases cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine, making us feel tense and boosting our blood pressure. Our good nutrient contents that create energy, start to deplete, making us feel more tired. Check out this analysis of stress on the body for more information:

Now, unless the cause of stress is ended, or if unavoidable (such as accident or sudden bereavement) the stress is not managed, these good resources deplete further, causing us to feel tired. In the longer-term more serious issues can occur, perhaps starting with depression and anxiety, progressing to a compromised immune system which can be a precursor to serious conditions. This is when we might realise the significance of the word DI-stress.

Take some time for yourself

Autogenic Training (AT) is a tried and tested way to reduce your stress levels. You can practise it at any time and in any place. This is because it is a treatment that you give to yourself. Autogenics is an amazing skill to learn, as it allows you to maintain your stress at a healthy level. You learn Autogenic Training in a short course, and through its easygoing practice, learn how to manage your stress, alongside new insights about yourself. AT is a skill for life – with unexpected benefits.


Angry doctor at British Autogenic Sciety

by jane on October 30, 2011

Yesterday I went, as I do every year, to the AGM and seminar day of the British Autogenic Society. I am a Founder Member (1984), having trained in 1982,  and have worked closely with BAS for many years.

Yesterday we presented 5 of the 10 most recently qualified members with their Diplomas in Autogenic Training. Much congratulation and joy!

The afternoon presentation was two hours of inspiring knowledge from another old-standing member: Dr Brian Kaplan. He has been teaching AT since 1987 (not as long as me!) alongside his practice in Homoeopathy. He stated yesterday:

‘If I had my way, I would make it mandatory for every GP surgery to run an Autogenic Training course every evening for their patients’.

He had explained the horrifying statistic that 70 – 80% of patient complaints are stress symptoms, or symptoms exacerbated (made worse) by stress. At any given time this figure is never less than 50%.

He said, ‘OK. Everyone knows this, and yet nothing is done about it. NOTHING! Everyone in this room knows how sad and unnecessary that fact is. Doctors and the health service (and therefore the patients too) all wait for real trouble to manifest itself, when in fact patients could be given the tools to help themselves and prevent serious illness’.

Dr Kaplan’s theme was the danger of medical research being too objective. Measuring outcomes of a method like AT is possible – we do not need random control trials for a non-drug method when there is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that patients know when they feel better, and the doctor realises they have significantly reduced their visits to the surgery.

However, we ended the day with laughter – the other much-ignored medicine for good health.


Recent clients

by jane September 13, 2011

Two people have recently finished AT courses with me. There is a certain pattern: they thank me, I congratulate them. They have done the work / made the changes. I teach the method, they put it into practice and with any luck profound changes occur. The first (I shall call her Debbie) worked in a […]

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SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder

by jane June 28, 2011

Isn’t it always a surprise when we are told that the longest day of the year is now behind us? June 21st comes around faster and faster, and although we can joke and exclaim about it (‘Where is the summer?’ ‘The nights are drawing in – already?’) for some of us this feels really depressing. I […]

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The finger-nail lady

by jane May 8, 2011

I am often asked how we know Autogenic Training (AT) works. Maybe we don’t know. There are some occasions where we simply cannot explain a change. The answer usually lies with the client. My favourite story is the ‘fingernails lady’. Iris, age 70, had started the AT course because of her irritating dry cough, and sweating a […]

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Be your own therapist

by jane October 20, 2010

This week the conversation I had with a client who has been using AT for 4 months included so much positivity I was (yet again) bowled over by the power of Autogenic Training (AT). Rachel (not her real name) spoke about the subtle changes she is noticing in her life. She has been under a […]

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