For many of us, stress has become a part of everyday life. Unrealistic and sometimes unachievable expectations or deadlines. Cranky work colleagues. Long hours at badly behaved computers. Juggling your work/life balance. Family commitments. Screaming children, traffic jams and bills. Just a few examples of factors we need to confront and overcome on a daily basis.
Stress is hard to define. There is no universally accepted measure of its causes or symptoms. There is no magic cure. There is only an individual's perception, appraisal and reaction to a condition or situation.
Stress can induce symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, a lack of concentration and fluctuations in appetite. Such symptoms then manifest in physical reactions such as insomnia, exhaustion, hypertension, nausea, aches from tense muscles and a lowered immunity to colds and infections. Chronic stress can even lead to serious health concerns such as back problems, migraines, digestives issues, skin conditions, obesity and heart disease. In short, stress can seriously damage your health.
Stress Management Day – SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel, Hampshire
At the core of the SenSpa philosophy is an emphasis on inner healing and balance of mind, body and spirit. Their spa team teamed up with the Stress Management Society to offer a one-day programme to help individuals or groups to identify the causes and symptoms of stress and how best to manage them.
I had the opportunity to test-drive the stress-management day. I started as a sceptic, but was positively surprised.
The morning consisted of a three-hour seminar delivered by stress management expert, Neil Shah. The interactive group session explored our understanding of stress and how to identify your own stress levels and triggers.
Neil advised us on nutrition and exercise and discussed how healthy living can help boost your energy and sense of wellbeing. He then ran through practical breathing exercises, sleep improvement techniques and self-massage techniques. The overall aim was to provide the tools necessary improve our work/life balance.
I left the morning session with a better understanding of my own stress triggers. I learned about my body's reactions and now feel better armed to combat stress.
The afternoon session began with a delicious two-course Thai lunch in the tranquil environment of the Zen Garden Restaurant. After lunch, we chose a luxurious one-hour spa treatment and had full use of the award-winning spa facilities. It was great to wind down in the hydrotherapy pool and relax in The Quiet Room.
SenSpa's stress management day has had a lasting effect. I am aware of my physical triggers. I am able to stand back and evaluate stressful situations. I am also able to apply the necessary technique to minimise the effects. I learned the importance of recognising and dealing with the negative effects of stress.