Phil Pearl: Mental Toughness Coaching, Training & Hypnotherapy London.

10 Harley Street, W1G 9PF. 

Call or email me for a free pre-consultation discussion by telephone, without any obligations.

Tel: 020 7467 8548. Email: 

Mental Toughness Coaching


What is Stress?

Stress is constantly in the news, every day the newspapers and media carry more facts and figures regarding the amount of people suffering from stress, work days lost through stress and diseases caused by stress. Stress is an abstract concept and may exist for one person but not for another, so the things that cause one person to experience stress will have no affect on someone else. What is clear, is that the more effective we are at dealing with stress the happier our lives will be.

Here are some definitions

"Stress is an imbalance between perceived demands and perceived coping ability". This definition says that we will be anxious and worried if we feel that a situation or an event will need skills and abilities that we may not have, therefore we may not be able to cope and lack confidence.

"Stress is caused by change and fear of change". It is suggested that we may lack confidence and have difficulty handling any changes to our situation, these changes are clearly perceived as threats to our comfort and well-being.

 "Stress is the gap between where we are now, and want to be". Again the issue is change from our existing comfort zone to another comfort zone. It's the bit in the middle that is the problem and where we need confidence.

So stress involves change and our perceived capabilities for handling it. This is clearly an issue, as we all know that modern life involves constant never-ending change. We are always reminded that change is the norm rather than the exception, "lucky us".

Is Stress All Bad?

Stress is considered to be either good stress called "eustress" or bad stress, referred to as "distress". Good stress is enjoyable and helps us perform well at work, sports and leisure. Good stress gives us the right amount of pressure and motivates us to change and develop ourselves. Bad stress or distress is the type that we often refer to and has negative consequences for our physical and mental health. Curiously, our physical reactions to good and bad stress are the same.
For example, if two people were doing a presentation and the first person had no previous experience but the second person had a lot of previous experience then their symptoms may be similar. They may both have stomach butterflies, increased heartbeat and mental functioning. The inexperienced person would call this distress and fear; the experienced person would call this eustress and excitement.                      

Taking Control

The key aspect is whether we feel that we are in control or not. The less we feel that we are in control of our lives, the more stressful our lives become. Confidence and control are absolutely key.

Fight or Flight

Our nervous stress responses are the same as they were during the Stone Age and were developed to preserve our lives against danger - to fight or flee. Our stress responses mobilised our bodies for extreme physical exertion. However, the same stress responses that we once used to avoid getting trampled to death by stampeding animals are not as useful for modern stresses such as paying the bills, meeting deadlines, taking exams, giving presentations and crowded commuting. These modern frustrations still mobilise us for physical action, however it is no longer appropriate as our lives are not in immediate danger. We are all fired up physically, but without an appropriate means of release. Long term this over-stimulation can have damaging effects on our health.

Physiological Responses to Stress

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Upset or acid stomach, cramps, heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation, diarrhoea
  • Weight gain or loss, eating disorders
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat, palpitations
  • Asthma or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Sweaty palms or hands
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Skin problems (hives, eczema, psoriasis, tics, itching)
  • Periodontal disease, jaw pain
  • Reproductive problems
  • Immune system suppression: more colds, flu, infections
  • Growth inhibition

Psychological & Emotional Responses to Stress

  • Nervousness, anxiety
  • Depression, moodiness
  • Low confidence
  • "Butterflies"
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Not being able to switch off from work
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Feeling out of control
  • Phobias
  • Overreactions
  • Loss of sense of humour
  • Focus on negative possibilities and anticipate crisis or catastrophe in most situations
  • Unrealistic expectations

Behavioural Responses to Stress

  • Increased arguments
  • Isolation from social activities
  • Conflict with co-workers or employers
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Frequent job changes
  • Road rage
  • Domestic or workplace violence
  • Overreactions
  • Passive Aggression
  • Short temper, abrasive attitude
  • Addictions & Substance abuse

© Phil Pearl DCH DHP MCH GHR Reg.
Hypnotherapy London
Mental Toughness. Resilience. Confidence.
Life Coaching. CBT Coaching. Existential Coaching. Hypnotherapy.

Mental Toughness Coaching, Training & Hypnotherapy London

Mental Toughness Hypnotherapy London

10 Harley Street,
London, W1G 9PF.

Tel: 020 7467 8548