Everyone experiences stress. It’s a normal and unavoidable part of living and our bodies are meant to react to it. It keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger. However, when stress persists, the body breaks down, and eventually illness and disease show up.
Types of stress we may experience:
- Stress related to the pressures of work, family, school, our regular responsibilities
- Stress which happens as a result of a negative change in our lives such as losing a loved one, divorce, losing your job, illness, etc.
- Trauma centered stress which is experienced when something such as war, assault, natural disaster, major accident or some other distressing emotional and/or physical symptom is triggered.
In dangerous situations, stress signals our body to prepare us to face a threat or flee to safety. This is what is commonly referred to as our “fight or flight response” which causes our hearts to beat faster, our breath to quicken and muscles to tense. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol pour into our bodies like an army coming to our rescue. We are made so wonderfully, aren’t we? Yet, this army of stress hormones was brought about early in our species evolution at a time when we were facing daily threats to our existence. Now, whenever things are perceived as a threat to our brains this alarm system goes off. So when your manager emails you with a tight deadline, or you experience a hard financial loss,or perhaps your significant other tells you it’s time to have to talk… guess what happens! We get filled with these stress hormones. And since we aren’t going to fight the manager we are stuck with an army of stress hormones coursing through our veins, leaving us feeling stressed out.
Symptoms that usually manifest are emotional, mental and physical:
- Low self-esteem
- Low self-worth
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty making decisions
- Unable to focus
- Constant worry
- Feeling restless
- Sleep issues
How can you reduce stress?
First, become aware that you are stressed. Track what is triggering the response in you and what symptoms you are experiencing. Some people find it beneficial to write this step down. When we get whatever is in our head out and down on paper we give it space to show up as it is.
Tools and techniques to help manage stress better are:
Start communicating more – Learn to say no when your plate is full; Ask for help when you need it; Tell someone when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Exercise – frequent exercise helps to decrease stress and promotes relaxation.
Self-Care – Remember that you are the only one who can make time for yourself. You matter and exhibiting a higher level of care for yourself helps to develop emotional resiliency.
Use relaxation techniques – Breathwork and meditation are very effective in helping to ease tension both mentally and physically.
Connecting with others – Spending time in the company of people we love and enjoy is actually a very needed thing. It is called co-regulation and is a biological and emotional way to decrease emotional distress, balance out the autonomic nervous system.
Diet – Reducing the amount of sugar, caffeine being consumed are also ways to ease physical stress symptoms.
Hobbies – Make space for fun, creativity, play and learning for things that you enjoy.
Hypnosis for stress
Hypnotherapy aims to break negative thought patterns and reactions to stress and instead provide you with a healthier and more positive response. The above tools and techniques are great and are useful for maintenance but they will not be able to change the subconscious patterns that are locked in our deep inner mind. Many people have thought patterns and perceptions based off of belief systems that were created in our earliest years of life. This doesn’t always mean a traumatic event happened in our life. It is often a collection of moments that our brains efficiently connected and gave meaning to before we were at an age to give greater context and understanding. Yet, in our adult state we are still running on old programming that may not be serving us the best in our current lives. All of our programming is held within our subconscious and runs automatically without us realizing it.
Hypnotherapy will help you to enter a natural altered state of mind, one of deep relaxation. When in this state, your subconscious is more open to suggestion. This allows you to “suggest” different ways of perceiving triggers and in responding to them. While many see results within the first session, the work needed is unique to every person and will depend therefore on each individual. Ask your hypnotherapist to teach you self-hypnosis. Regular self-hypnosis can help you reduce tension and ease stresses such as upcoming exams, public speaking engagements, work stresses, and many others. It also has been helpful in increasing confidence, improving self-esteem, becoming more comfortable setting boundaries which are essential for managing stress.
If you are interested in learning more about hypnotherapy or in taking self-hypnosis classes you can reach me here to book a Free Clarity Session to discuss further to see if this might be a good option for you.