Stress / Anxiety

A number of years ago The American Centre for Disease Control published a report that suggested a minimum of 75% of first time visits to a health professional could trace the symptom could be caused by stress and anxiety. In fact the real figure could be over 90%.

Hypnotherapy can be a very powerful intervention in helping people deal with stress and anxiety. Hypnosis can be used to discover the mental and emotional reaction to a difficult situation that triggers our stress response. It is not the difficult or challenging situation that is the stress but how we respond will dictate if the stress trigger is activated. We all have our own perception of different events and how they impact on us. How we think and react to these events dictates the level of anxiety and stress we experience in our lives which can ultimately impact not only our mental welfare but on our physical well being too.

There are very few people who, even in the good times, could claim their lives were stress free. Family, work, finances etc. are part of everyone’s daily challenge. How we perceive and respond to these pressures can have a huge impact on our quality of life and health. But in understanding the process that leads to a stress or anxiety reaction we can become aware of our reactions and our thoughts an intervene before the full domino effect happens that triggers our fight or flight response.

Fight or Flight

How we create stress stems from an instinctive human response known as “fight or flight”. As Stone Age man fight or flight was a necessary inbuilt survival mechanism. When there was a perceived threat the nervous system released hormones into the body to speed up the heart rate and help the blood circulate rapidly throughout the body to give a burst of energy and adrenaline to the major muscle groups in order to react to a perceived threat.

After the moment of heightened energy has passed the body is then designed to return to normal function through its relaxation response which gives the body time to recover.

Consequence in today’s life

We still have this fight or flight response embedded in our Autonomic Nervous System; this can be a very beneficial thing in many aspects of our lives.

A sports person will be familiar with the beating heart, butterflies or sweaty palms before competing in an event. Without doing it consciously we call on our body’s innate ability to give us the energy boost. Sexual arousal also stimulates the same physical response; fight or flight is designed to be healthy and beneficial when appropriate. Then when the need for an energy boost has passed our body is designed to return to its natural relaxed state and recover from the physical exertion.

Today however, many people have become programmed to constantly trigger the fight or flight response in their body when not needed. Pressure at work, a traffic jam or even opening a bill now trigger such anxious reactions in some people that the burst of hormones and chemicals is released into the body when neither needed nor wanted.

Keeping our bodies in this heightened state of awareness never allows the hormonal balance to return which is both emotionally and physically damaging.

Unfortunately the subconscious cannot tell the difference between a traffic jam that is keeping you late for a meeting or the attack of a wild animal, it simply responds to your anxiety. By repeatedly and regularly triggering this negative reaction we are exposing ourselves to prolonged or chronic stress. This in turn will feed and reinforce negative thinking patterns and which in turn can be a factor in leading to depression.

How many illnesses do we associate with stress? It is important to remember that if you are ill go to a GP. Hypnosis is not a replacement for medical intervention. If, however you have a condition that is stress related or flares up due to stress hypnotherapy may be for you.

How hypnosis can help

In hypnosis the mind can be retrained to break the existing negative thought pattern and replace it with a calmer more beneficial series of thoughts and reactions, diminish the anxiety, thus reducing the stress levels in the body and the negative impact on our mental and physical welfare.