Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, and also how you behave. If you have any of the following symptoms, you could well be suffering from stress.
- Often feel overwhelmed
- Irritable/snapping at people
- Anxious or fearful
- Racing thoughts or constant worrying
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Muscle tension or pain
- Sleep problems
- Feeling tired all the time
- Eating too much or too little
- Drinking or smoking more
You may notice that your heart pounds, your breathing quickens, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat. This is sometimes known as the fight or flight response.
Once the threat or difficulty passes, these physical effects usually fade. But if you're constantly stressed, your body stays in a state of high alert and you may develop stress-related symptoms.
Are you unaware how stressed you are?
Very often clients are unaware how stressed they are because they don't know how to relax properly, both mentally and physically. They don't realise that, for example, the muscular tension they feel in their shoulders, the difficulty they have slowing down a racing mind or their inability to sit still for long and always needing to be doing something, etc. is a sign that they are suffering from stress.
Also, in some cases, people can suffer from an underlying perpetual stress, which is always there to varying degrees, so they don't know any other way to feel, or how much calmer they could be. Feeling calm is completely alien to them.
How does it work?
The approach will vary depending on each individual's specific requirements, but it very loosely involves changing the automatic conditioned response in the subconscious mind that causes you to respond to certain triggers. This is something that many people cannot control through conscious thought processes because, when behaviours are so deeply ingrained in the subconscious, changes often can't be implemented at a conscious level.
Under hypnosis, the learned response within the subconscious can be changed to something more appropriate to the situation, so that in future, you will be calm, relaxed and in control in the situations where you used to suffer from stress. You then learn how to handle trigger situations much more effectively, replacing negative emotions and responses with positive ones and remaining in control.
Learning how to relax
Learning suitable relaxation techniques and coping skills help you to respond more appropriately to trigger situations. Tension increases stress, relaxation lowers it. As negative habits are negative automatic reactions, relaxation gives us greater self-control, rather than be at the mercy of tension induced habitual responses.
These relaxation techniques will also condition you to be more relaxed in general, so that you will be able to deal the trials and tribulations that life can sometimes throw at you in a much more calm, controlled and confident manner. It stands to reason that if you feel more calm and relaxed within yourself to start with, then you'll be far better equipped to cope with stressful situations when they arise.