…I’d like to stop the stress now please.”
One of the biggest factors behind any presenting issue, at my East London practice, is stress and anxiety. Even if a person arrives on my doorstep seeking help to stop smoking, I’ve found that stress can be one of the reasons why people believe they can’t give up the cigs. (Actually, nicotine is a cause of stress too but that’s for another blog!)
Of course, we’re not talking about ‘good stress’ i.e. that surge of energy known as ‘eustress‘ which helps us to adapt to change, get creative or learn new stuff. Or the stress released when faced with real danger because it helps to protect us by giving us the ability to escape or save lives.
We’re talking about the type of stress that actually inhibits our ability to function on a daily basis. Many people are no strangers to this type of stress within our fast-paced, demanding society. Countless of us are unlucky enough to endure the effects of it frequently. The good news is that Cognitive Hypnotherapy with its combination of cognitive therapies, NLP and hypnosis can be very helpful in combating and resolving the effects of stress.
(Some self-help techniques coming up a little later plus a free download!)
Now everybody is different and there are numerous triggers for stress, be that environmentally or psychologically, but because our responses are unique what affects one person strongly might have no impact on another. I was speaking to a new client the other day who said that she was doing just fine when ‘boom’, just one small thing tipped that balance and she found herself shaking. The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ is a saying used so often in hindsight as the stress regretfully leads to ‘chronic stress’, such as anxiety, panic or depression. That’s why it’s a good thing to deal with any symptoms quickly.
Hardly any individuals live a completely relaxed life but most of us have a degree of psychological stress we can cope with daily without facing any overwhelming damaging effect on our overall health or well-being.
Indications that you may be struggling to cope with your present level of stress are:
- being psychologically irrational, getting angry at the slightest thing that annoys or upsets you, being agitated by issues you usually wouldn’t have noticed, feeling restless or jittery, disturbed sleep behaviours, or feeling overwhelmed and not able to focus.
People overcome by stress may also report suffering with physical signs and symptoms such as:
- stomach issues or finding themselves partaking in unwanted habits more frequently.
Getting help sooner rather than later is paramount if you’re struggling to cope with the negative effects of stress and before you find that it’s started to seep into other areas of your life.
Many people find hypnosis very relaxing, and if you are interested in experiencing a relaxation MP3 recorded by me then please accept my invitation to download the MP3 available direct from my website, free of charge.
Some of the key benefits of hypnosis and the techniques I can teach you is that they help you cope with stress better. Quite a few people find they are able to maintain a peaceful inner self with far more ease. Developing your inner strength and confidence will also reinforce your new belief that you are able to overcome stress more effectively.
If you think that you suffering from stress and you want to do something about it, you could try out some general self-help tips coming up shortly – or choose to contact me and take the first steps towards a more relaxed lifestyle.
The stress response – what’s going on?
Think of it is like a siren that goes off when it detects something it believes to be of danger to you. The stress response can be triggered by things that are real OR imagined, the brain doesn’t know the difference! Hence the power of negative thinking.. something that can be explored and helped using Cognitive Hypnotherapy too.
Next it produces changes in the neurochemistry, alerting the production of adrenaline, cortisol and those chemicals that prepare the human body to ‘fight, take flight or freeze’. Just like our ancestors back in the day would have prepared to escape the sabre tooth tiger. Unfortunately in our modern fast paced society many people have a learned response to issues, events or worries that can create the same impact on the human nervous system, ergo real, or vividly imagined the siren goes off and signals the release of the very same stress hormones to ‘fight or flight’. But of course we do neither, instead these hormones can build up in the body resulting in chronic stress, anxiety and for some people depression. These conditions benefit greatly from seeking qualified, professional advice and therapeutic help.
Everyday stressors – self-help guidance:
Is most definitely a great stress buster – as it speeds up the elimination of stress hormones within the bloodstream. Exercise raises levels of serotonin and dopamine which help to bring back a natural, healthy balance.
Some people buy into an active gym membership or swimming, running, cycling and that’s great. But you don’t need to take up strenuous exercise to make a real difference.
- What you need to do is get the heart pumping that bit faster and your lungs to breath in the air more deeply.
- So try by beginning to walk that bit faster for just 15 minutes, (or more), twice a day and begin to notice how this can help you to make a big difference in how you’re feeling. Build on this ‘everyday’ ease-of-exercise by taking the stairs and not the lift, taking the dog for a walk, or getting those more active household or gardening chores done.
You could soon find yourself looking forward to doing more as your stamina increases.
You may be surprised that by having a way to release stress and encourage the build-up of good endorphins (though more activity), you are able to overcome stressful triggers much more in your daily routines too.
STOP, THINK TWICE BEFORE… ‘Treating’ any stress-induced symptoms such as tiredness, anxiety, or worries with sedatives, stimulants, nicotine, alcohol or other substances because they can lead to a worsening of the stress symptoms.
Instead… take a look at seeking professional help and the benefits that hypnotherapy could offer you in taking real long-lasting control of your issue with stress.
And breathe… in 5 steps
Below is a simple breathing exercise for you to attain a sense of calm in stressful situations.
Also known as 7/11 breathing, this technique can be used sitting or standing and acts by encouraging the ‘parasympathetic nervous system’ to kick in by producing endorphins to enable you to get calm quickly by reducing the heightened adrenaline.
- Align your head over your body.
- Breathe through the nose naturally, deeply and evenly from the diaphragm (tummy goes in and out).
- Breathe in for a count of seven, counting the numbers to yourself in your Hold breath 2 seconds and then…
- Breathe out gently for a count of eleven, counting the numbers to yourself in your (allow your shoulders to relax on the out-breath as your tummy moves in and you breathe out through your nose.)
- Continue this for a few minutes. As you continue your body releases relaxing endorphins, dissipating any previous tension.
If it’s easier you can change the count e.g., 3 counts, for the in-breath and 5 counts for the out-breath, as long as the outward breath has the long count.
Short term stress – acute…
Hypnotherapy can help treat short term stress efficiently and in a natural way. For example, if you are aware a specific event coming up that will cause you to stress, hypnotherapy can assist you to prepare for it and learn how to take care of it effectively, so that you may not even notice what once would have bothered you – changing your ability in how you are able to respond.
Long term stress
Hypnotherapy is also a remarkable way to help those battling with long term stress. A person’s life can be ruined if they are struggling to cope due to stress.
By seeking help through Cognitive Hypnotherapy we’ll work together to find the underlying cause of your issue and I can tailor a unique treatment plan to provide you with the skills which will help you overcome the stress. These techniques are empowering, because not only are you able to discover why these things bother you and the link with the symptoms but most importantly you might learn how to control it and contend with it yourself, giving you a lifelong resource.
…also known as Chronic Stress
Suffering varying levels of stress, leading to anxiety, panic attacks or mild depression can be because of many different contributing factors. If this is something you would like to explore and resolve, you can contact me today to set up a no-obligation chat via phone call or Skype and let’s see how Cognitive Hypnotherapy could be helping you. Or first…
Check out my therapy options and you’ll find the invite to my free relaxation MP3 at the top of each page.