Stress and Anxiety

 Although people have very different ideas in respect to their definition of stress, probably the most common description tends to be, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”.

 Anxiety and stress can manifest itself differently for everyone but the following are common physical signs of anxiety or stress:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Weight gain/inability to lose weight
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Bowel function
  • Inability to think clearly and make choices
  • Headaches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

Common psychological signs of stress and anxiety are:

  • Inner tension
  • Agitation
  • Fear of losing control
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Phobias and fears

Hypnosis is well documented as an excellent non-invasive drug-free approach to preventing, reducing and alleviating symptoms related to stress and anxiety.

Categories of stress and formation of anxiety

Acute Stress: Fight or flight response.  The body prepares to defend itself by helping to fight the threat or flee to safety.  This response is a normal human protection system primitively used to eat or escape being eaten. This ‘stress response’ gets triggered when the adrenals, receive distress messages from the brain.  The adrenals release adrenalin (ephineprine) and cortisol, two hormones that in turn initiate the ‘fight or flight’ response.  The ‘fight or flight’ symptoms are familiar: rapid heart rate, muscle contraction, cold hands and feet, racing thoughts etc. As uncomfortable as these symptoms may sound, in the right situation they are useful.  For example, escaping a street mugging, or (if you are a deer in the woods) the sound of a hunter’s footsteps.  The stress response was designed to be an ‘on-and-off’ event.  Originally, it was not designed to deal with chronic stress.

Video Credit: Stanford University, Dr Robert Sapolsky

Chronic Stress/anxiety: Lifestyle stressors built up over a period of time: bills, kids, overworked, traffic, injury, punishment, negative feelings, self conflicting thoughts, some of which may seem small on their own, yet, accumulatively, create enormous distress. When left uncontrolled, the prolonged mental, emotional or physical stress we tend to ignore or push down will affect your health, your immune system, as the body is in a perpetual state of fight and flight; this can lead to anxiety, anger and depression.

75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians result from stress-related disorders.
–  Paul Rosch, M.D., President, American Institute of Stress

While there is definite overlap between stress and anxiety, with stress, comes a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, unease, and worry. The source of these symptoms is not always known.

Often with anxiety you become less aware of what you’re anxious about [in the moment] and the reaction becomes the problem,” “You begin to feel anxious about being anxious.”

How Hypnotherapy Helps

 The state of hypnosis allows you to take a break from the mental, emotional and physical stress. Reducing the “stress” hormone cortisol, lowering heart rate, blood pressure and getting you out of the prolonged fight and flight response and into the bodies naturally preferred calm state.

Together we assess the stress/anxiety that you experience, consider causes, solutions and strategies for current circumstances and if necessary potential events.

We will discuss your goals and how you wish to feel, how you would like to be and things that you would choose to do in your life when you are free of stress/anxiety.

A range of hypnotic techniques will be used depending on your specific needs and goals to alleviate stress/anxiety and provide you with new positive ways to cope with life’s changes and stressors. You will learn techniques that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

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