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Why do people deal with stress or problems differently?


I have often wondered when speaking to different clients and prospective ones… what makes people deal with problems differently?

It makes me sad to hear that so many people have suffered so many challenges throughout their lives through serious illnesses or tragedies. It could be the death of a child, suicide of a close friend, it could be suffering abuse from a partner or family member.

Some people choose to tell everyone they know about the smallest problem, even people they meet at the checkout in Tesco. Others have real heart-breaking challenges and don’t even tell their closest friends because they don’t want to burden them or make a fuss.  And often it is the people who have suffered the most hardship are the ones who deal with difficulties more effectively.

A well-known mantra is that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. This is so true and I see this a lot in different clients.

Why does this happen? Well, we all handle stress differently based on biological, psychological, social and environmental factors.

What does this mean? Well biologically some of it is genetics and some of us are just by nature more laid-back. It is simply just in our genes or hormones.

Psychologically, some of us have a personality which is naturally more optimistic and have an ‘everything will work out OK attitude.’ Or we have good coping strategies such as going to the gym, going for a run/walk or taking time to do something nice for ourselves as soon as we feel stress setting in. Or bad ones like drinking too much, smoking or eating junk food.

Socially, having a strong support network of family, friends and colleagues can really help. However, it’s often our background or the way we’ve been brought up that determines whether we express stress openly or we want to be seen to be more self-sufficient.

Environmentally, it’s about whether we have a high pressured job or if we have financial security. In your job, a lot of it will depend on how good your manager is at absorbing stress. Some managers don’t absorb any stress – they just delegate it! Does this happen to you? How do you handle it?

My one piece of advice here is to try to understand how you personally handle stress and why this may be. And remember that 90% of life is how you react to things and not what happens to you.

If you think you may need help in rewiring your brain to manage stress differently, let me know. Sometimes just understanding why your mind reacts in a certain way and pre-empting stress can make a massive difference to your quality of life. Stress is stress, it will always be there, we can’t get away from it. But I can help you manage it better and become more resilient.

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This is so very true. We all cope in such different ways and share our difficulties at different levels with different people too! You are totally on point about it being more about how we learn to cope with inevitable stress. We learn through life to build a toolbox, if we are lucky, , of strategies of all kinds, that helps us to regroup take a deep breath and handle the ups and downs. Hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool for this.

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