How Hypnotherapy Can Help With Stress Relief
When I see the word stress it quickly takes me back to a moment last week. I arrived home from a morning run with only a short amount of time before needing to leave the house to take the children to an activity. My partner combined his getting ready with the beginnings of helping the children and I was to finish off the dribs and drabs whilst getting myself ready. The usual ships in the night. No time to do anything rushing from one side of the house to the other with a book under the chin and a lunchbox hanging off each arm. Hopefully remembering to put it all down before jumping in the shower.
I glanced at the clock and remembered the bread we needed for dinner. So, I tried to move everything out of the way and bring the bread machine down from the shelf. Whilst doing so I knocked over my partners flask of brewing tea. Typically, in the worse place possible – above the draws that contain all the cutlery and cooking accessories. The tea flowed all over the hob and trickled down the kitchen drawers like a perfect waterfall. Cue stress!
What is Stress?
Stress is a short-term response to a situation that causes us to feel under pressure. Stress is a feeling and a reaction to a known threat. Small amounts of stress help us in life, you have a big game, and you need to get out there and play the best you’ve ever played. It’s a small stress reaction that fuels your motivation and helps you excel. When you have an important presentation at work or a deadline at school the stress response helps you to knuckle down and prepare.
Both internal pressures or demands and external cause stress, however the key to whether something is a stressor is how you perceive it. For example, your friend might ask if you can look after their dog for the day. You have no plans; your own dog loves the company, and you planned a long walk in the afternoon – you look forward to walking with both dogs. It fits in with your day well and is not stressful. Compared to another day when you have many errands to run, you feel stretched for time. You have just about worked out how to fit a short walk in between missions but you feel slightly concerned it is not long enough. Another dog to fit into the mix feels like a huge demand and pushes you right out of your comfort zone. It feels stressful.
Individual perceptions are different in all situations, one person may perceive a professional exam as a threat to their career, a test, a judgement. Another person might perceive it as an exciting opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities.
Eustress or Distress?
Hans Selye named pleasant stress eustress and unpleasant, distress. Internal and external pressures either cause us to feel excitement, anticipation, joy, and elation (eustress) or panic, avoidance, fight or flight (distress). Physical threats, threats to your self-image, important life events, conflict, tight deadlines, or loss are all typical stressors. In a society of big demands, huge expectations and lots of pressure what can you do to cope and how can hypnotherapy help this?
Hypnosis, like meditation will take you out of the stressed state, physically and mentally. Stress commonly causes feelings of moodiness and irritability or anger, overwhelm, unhappiness or anxious thinking, sometimes loneliness. These difficult feelings can feel difficult to change no matter how hard you try. In addition, you might experience physical feelings such as a faster heartbeat, quickened breathing, and disrupted bowel movements. When you use hypnosis, you will return to an expected body state. You will have a greater ability to focus and the power to change your thinking giving you the space to consider your reactions and perceptions.
Hypnotherapy for Stress
Hypnotherapy can help you with coping mechanisms. We all have coping mechanisms, such as rationalisation, journaling and resting. However, some coping mechanisms are unhealthy. For example, opening a bottle of wine. Hypnotherapy can help you change coping mechanisms that negatively affect your life in ways that are separate to the original stressor.
Every situation is unique, some people like to come and talk out their stressful situation. Talking through with an independent person helps to gain clarity in a conversation that’s sole focus is you and your life. Most people feel like they can take a breath of fresh air after just one session but finances and time allowing, you might like to continue with the sessions until you have navigated the entire situation.
If you have a deadline, hypnotherapy for stress sessions can help you with the specifics of what you need to do to meet the target. I recently worked with someone who had a presentation to deliver. His fear of public speaking was impeding his ability to write the presentation. We worked together weekly until the presentation. The hypnotherapy sessions helped him to overcome his fear of public speaking, find coping mechanisms for in the moment and establish a plan to ensure the presentation demonstrated his full potential. A hypnotherapist can help you with many different stressful deadlines and situations.
Short term stress is generally not a problem, your body is equipped to cope with it. Smaller amounts might even help you to achieve your goal. When your stress prevents you from doing what you need to do, hypnotherapy will help you through. It is important to deal with any long-term stress before it crosses the boarder into anxiety territory.