Teaching you how to minimise stress

Not all stress is bad. We each function best and feel best at our own optimal level of physiological arousal. We need some stress to get everyday things done. Too little can lead to boredom and “rust out” – but too much can produce “burn out”.

The good news is you can reduce stress with hypnosis and find new ways of coping with stress that are more appropriate and effective than you might imagine.

How stressed we feel depends on how much damage we think the situation can do to us, and how closely our resources meet the demands of the situation. This sense of threat is rarely physical. It may, for example, involve perceived threats to our social standing, to other people’s opinions of us, to our career prospects or to our own deeply held values.

Relaxing bodily tension in order to reduce the physical sensations of stress is a good place to start. If your body is free of tension – your mind tends to be relaxed. This helps you concentrate and study, take decisions and solve problems, hypnotherapy for stress is great place to start learning how to relax. When you are relaxed, you can view each task as a positive challenge, and use small amounts of stress as a stimulus to help you to carry it out giving you a relaxing glow of achievement afterwards.

Causes of stress

Whether from a charging bull, or a pending deadline, the body’s response to stress can be both helpful and harmful. The stress response gives us the strength and speed to ward off or flee from an impending threat. But when it persists, stress can put us at risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other illnesses.

A threat to your life or safety triggers a primal physical response from the body, leaving you breathless, heart pounding, and mind racing. From deep within your brain, a chemical signal speeds stress hormones through the bloodstream, priming your body to be alert and ready to escape danger. Concentration becomes more focused, reaction time faster, and strength and agility increase. When the stressful situation ends, hormonal signals switch off the stress response and the body returns to normal.

But in our modern society, stress doesn’t always let up. Many of us harbour anxiety and worry about daily events and relationships. Stress hormones continue to wash through the system in high levels, never leaving the blood and tissues. And so, the stress response that once gave ancient people the speed and endurance to escape life-threatening dangers runs constantly in many modern people and never shuts down.

Relaxation is about using only as much energy as you need to complete any task, whether physical, mental or emotional, and then recovering as quickly as possible afterwards. The first task is to become more relaxed in daily life and not to waste energy on things that don’t require it. The second is to learn to use deep relaxation in the way you would use a full stop in punctuation, allowing you to pause.

The key here is achieving balance. For people who are rushing to keep up at work or at home, what’s needed is time to slow down and let the body recover. Those who are stressed, because they don’t have enough to occupy or stimulate them, may need to increase their activity level to bring about a balance. Anyone overburdened with demands that cause them a lot of hassle, without bringing any reward, should think about a shift in personal priorities.

Stress relief – Some stress is good for you and many people have to get their stress responses to a certain level so they can perform well in certain circumstances like presenting or standing up for themselves. But while some stress is good, too much is not good. “If you’re too stressed, your performance falls off, your objective should be not to get rid of stress completely, rather, you need to be able to use your stress response optimally.

Symptoms of stress

The initial signs of stress are very similar to that of depression – everything becomes a little too much and there may be difficulty solving problems. Your concentration is easily broken and you may procrastinate over decision making, nothing seems to be working the way it should.

Your feelings may become numbed with a reduced capacity for joy and happiness, things become a burden and you look forward to fewer events and activities.In this preoccupied stressed state you may find that with your focus and concentration impaired you become more prone to accidents, mishaps and losing things. Stressful situations can affect your immune system leaving you vulnerable to colds, flu, fatigue, anxiety attacks. You may feel less likely to socialise and begin to avoid certain people.

Stress management

Just making the time to read this page and acknowledge you are feeling stressed is a great first step. Using hypnosis I will teach you a range of relaxation techniques that you will be able to use at the trigger points that seem to really get you worked up, because if the body is free of tension the mind relaxes too.

Whilst you are relaxed and your unconscious mind is open to new ideas we can begin to break down some of the large topics that give you stress into smaller more manageable parts. We can then see what emotional resources you would need to handle each task and explore your beliefs and feelings about your current capabilities. I often find that one or two areas of doubt are common in most people (confidence, fears, concerns, strength of character, knowledge, authority etc.) so we can work on shifting any negative thoughts or feelings and move towards feeling positive about the challenges ahead.

At this time it is also important to identify when and where you will say no – you can’t manage stress by taking on more responsibilities, what emotional resources would you need to feel OK saying no?

Stress is very individual, so my notes above are just a guide – the reality is many people who have suffered from stress only learn effective stress management techniques after suffering from serious illnesses and conditions such as stroke and heart disease. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you, so let’s begin to get a grip on stress.