Stress Relief

Hypnosis and Stress Relief

After years of working with clients we have concluded that stress is either the root cause or the primary contributor to every client situation.

Stress hypnosis techniques will reduce stress and teach you how to relax and stay calm even under the most stressful conditions. They are an effective method of dealing with stress when you cannot get relief through other methods. Replacing negative thoughts will help you to cope with ordinary and extraordinary stress and live a happier healthier life. Stress causes a variety of problems so it is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms. Hypnosis can help you to identify the reasons behind your stress.

Stress is good when it invigorates your life and challenges you to reach toward the limits of your potential. Stress can be bad when worry about problems or situations causes headaches, insomnia, depression or any other physical problems. Learning how to properly manage stress makes you a happier person and one that others will want to be around. Stress is contagious, and if you are down about a problem you will also bring down others around you. You can also learn to recognize when other people are stressed and discover how to avoid getting caught up in their problems.

Understanding Stress

Stress is a psychological and physiological response to events that upset our personal balance in some way. When faced with a threat, whether to our physical safety or emotional equilibrium, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” response. We all know what this stress response feels like: heart pounding in the chest, muscles tensing up, breath coming faster, every sense on red alert.

stress_relief_tidesThe biological stress response is meant to protect and support us. It’s what helped our stone age ancestors survive the life-or-death situations they commonly faced. But in the modern world most of the stress we feel is in response to psychological rather than physical threats. It is when we cannot run away or fight that stress becomes really harmful. While work-related problems, caring for a chronically-ill child or getting audited by the IRS certainly qualify as stressful situations, neither calls for nor allows fight or flight. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t make this distinction. Whether we’re stressed over a looming deadline at work, an argument with a friend, or a mountain of bills the warning bells ring. And just like a caveman confronting a sabertooth tiger we go into automatic overdrive.

When we have a lot of responsibilities and worries, we may be running on stress a good portion of the time – launching into emergency mode with every traffic jam, phone call from the in-laws, or a segment of the evening news. But the problem with the stress response is that the more it’s activated the harder it is to shut off. Instead of leveling off once the crisis has passed, our stress hormones, heart rate, arterial inflammation and blood pressure remain elevated.

Furthermore, extended or repeated activation of the stress response takes a heavy toll on the body. Prolonged exposure to stress increases our risk of everything from heart disease, obesity, and infection to anxiety, depression, and memory problems. Because of the widespread damage it can cause, it’s essential to learn how to deal with stress in a more positive way and reduce its impact on our daily life.

Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects of Stress

To get a handle on stress we first need to learn how to recognize it in ourselves. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways – all directly tied to the physiological changes of the fight-or-flight response. The specific signs and symptoms of stress vary widely from person to person. Some people primarily experience physical symptoms, such as low back pain, stomach problems, and skin outbreaks. In others, the stress pattern centers on emotional symptoms, such as sadness, crying or hypersensitivity. For still others, a change in the way they think or behave predominates.

We all face different challenges and obstacles, and sometimes the pressure is hard to handle. When we feel overwhelmed, under the gun, or unsure how to meet the demands placed on us, we experience stress. In small doses, stress can be a good thing. It can give us the push we need, motivating us to do our best and to stay focused and alert. Stress is what keeps us on our toes during a presentation at work or drives us to study for our midterm when we’d rather be watching TV. But when the going gets too tough and life’s demands exceed our ability to cope, stress becomes a threat to both our physical and emotional well-being.

The potential causes of stress are numerous and highly individual. What you consider stressful depends on many factors, including your personality, general outlook on life, problem-solving abilities, and social support system. Something that’s stressful to you may not faze someone else, or they may even enjoy it. For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.

The pressures and demands that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However anything that forces us to adjust can be a stressor. This includes positive events such as getting married, receiving a promotion or the birth of a child. Regardless of whether an event is good or bad, if the adjustment it requires strains our coping skills and adaptive resources, the end result is stress.

The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. Use it to identify the symptoms you typically experience when you’re under stress. If you know your red flags, you can take early steps to deal with the stressful situation before it – or your emotions – spiral out of control.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Indecisiveness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Loss of objectivity
  • Fearful anticipation

 

Emotional Symptoms

  • Moodiness
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Short temper
  • Irritability, impatience
  • Inability to relax
  • Feeling tense and “on edge”
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness

 

Physical Symptoms

  • Muscle tension and stiffness
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin breakouts (hives, eczema)
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Headaches or backaches

 

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastination, neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, drugs to relax
  • Nail biting or pacing
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Overdoing activities (exercise, shopping)
  • Overreacting to unexpected problems
  • Picking fights with others

 

Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a physician for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.

stres_relief_squeezeMajor life changes

Major life events are stressors. Whether it’s a divorce, a child leaving home, a move to a new town, a career change, graduating from college, or a diagnosis of cancer, the faster or more dramatic the change, the greater the strain. Furthermore, the more major life changes you’re dealing with at any one time the more stress you’ll feel.

Life’s daily demands

While major life changes are stressful they are also relative rarities. After all, it’s not every day that you file for divorce or have a baby. You may, however, battle traffic, argue with your family members, or worry about your finances on a daily basis. Because these small upsets occur so regularly, they end up affecting us the most.

Daily causes of stress may include:

  • Environmental stressors – Your physical surroundings can set off the stress response. Examples of environmental stressors include an unsafe neighborhood, pollution, noise (sirens keeping you up at night, a barking dog next door), and uncomfortable living conditions. For people living in crime-ridden areas or war-torn regions, the stress may be unrelenting.
  • Family and relationship stressors – Problems with friends, romantic partners, and family members are common daily stressors. Marital disagreements, dysfunctional relationships, rebellious teens, personal health related worries, or caring for a chronically-ill family member or a child with special needs can all send stress levels skyrocketing.
  • Work stressors – In our career-driven society, work can be an ever-present source of stress. Work stress is caused by things such as job dissatisfaction, an exhausting workload, insufficient pay, office politics, and conflicts with your boss or co-workers.
  • Social stressors – Your social situation can cause stress. For example, poverty, financial pressures, racial and sexual discrimination or harassment, unemployment, isolation, and a lack of social support all take a toll on daily quality of life.

Internal Causes of Stress

Not all stress is caused by external pressures and demands. Your stress can also be self-generated. Internal causes of stress include: uncertainty or worries, a pessimistic attitude, self-criticism, unrealistic expectations or beliefs, perfectionism, low self-esteem, excessive or unexpressed anger, or too much or too little assertiveness.

Effects of chronic stress

Chronic stress wears you down day after day and year after year with no visible escape. Under sustained or severe stress, even the most well-adjusted person loses the ability to adapt. When stress overwhelms our coping resources, our bodies and minds suffer. Some recent research suggests that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of illnesses have a stress-related component. The physical wear and tear of stress includes damage to the cardiovascular system and immune system suppression. Stress compromises your ability to fight off disease and infection, and throws your digestive system off balance. Many medical conditions are caused or exacerbated by stress, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • PMS
  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin problems

The solution

stress_relief_beachThe more you know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last and what to expect, the better able you’ll be to face it. Some people roll with the punches, while others have difficulty coping with the slightest obstacle or frustration. The more confidence you have in yourself and your ability to persevere, the better able you’ll be to take a stressful situation in stride. A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against life’s stressors.

Stress hypnosis teaches you how to relax and stay calm even under the most stressful conditions. It helps you to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones that can lift your spirits. When you have learned to recognize the things that trigger your stress, you can begin to effectively manage your responses. You can get the help you need to effectively manage stress through hypnosis.