So, what is stress? When can stress start? What causes stress? What are the effects of stress? What can Hypnosis do for stress relief? How stressful is it reading this? (Not as stressful as writing it I can assure you!?)
Stress is a state of mental tension or worry caused by difficulties we find in different situations. Stress, often being referred to as one of the biggest killers of humans, can appear in many forms, from many different onsets and at any point in our lives.
From the cradle to the grave, none of us can escape stress. Even as a tiny baby, we feel stresses. Uncomfortable feelings when we are wet or hungry, or perhaps when we’re cold or need a bit of comfort, all of these things set off the stress response, and as babies, we communicate our stresses to our caregivers by the act of crying, using different tones, volumes and intensities of crying in order to indicate which particular stress we are feeling.
It is only when stress’s symptoms and onsets are explained to us that we become able to understand why we have that stammer when speaking, that patch of eczema that will not go away, or that IBS condition, amongst many, many other things.
As an adult, we can vocalise, sign or use visual images to communicate our stresses to others. However, as adults, we mostly tend to hide our stresses and can often not even see or recognise what our stresses are and what they’re doing to us.
Stress happens for many reasons, for instance, financial hardship, ill health, exam or job pressure, being bullied, home life, etc.
Stress is also measured by the individual belief, being that what could seem to be a drop in the ocean for one person, is more the end of the world tsunami to someone else.
Stress can manifest itself differently in different people for the exact same reasons. For example, clients A, B and C all have debt worries bringing stress to each of them. Client A reports an inability to focus on anything but the debt itself which keeps them awake at night leaving them to feel fatigued all the time. Client B reports a lack of appetite, stomach cramps, IBS, and an overactive mind. Client C is reporting that they are angry and frustrated all of the time and have noticed eczema when they never had it before.
When stress occurs, for whatever reason that may be, our mind and body enters into a self-preservation mode known as FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE. Fight, flight or freeze (F.F.F.) mode is our internal safety system that is programmed to intervene as a reaction to a harmful threat. Designed in order to prepare us for a fight against a harmful threat, to protect us by flight (running away from that harmful threat), or can just makes us freeze uncontrollably.
F.F.F originates from those days when WE were constantly on the menu and actively hunted by wild animals!! When in F.F.F mode, our body is instructed to create more than is necessary of the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that does a very much needed job within the body’s survival needs such as adrenaline adjustment, regulating the metabolism, breathing control, suppressing inflammation, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels, controlling your sleep/wake cycle and generally keeping us alive and functioning.
Cortisol is one of the very few hormones that has access to each and every organ in our body. Too little cortisol in us can cause issues such as unintentional weight loss, low blood pressure and fatigue, too much cortisol is a different matter!!
As more cortisol is produced, our adrenaline, dopamine and norepinephrine levels also raise, and as they are raising, other things within us are dropping on our necessity to survive scale such as our appetite, sex drive and our need for sleep. I mean, you wouldn’t want to stop for a meal if you were being chased by a wild animal to become their dinner would you? Just the same as you wouldn’t want to stop for sex, or to sleep if that wild animal had designs on you being its next mouthful!
So now we know all of that, how can Hypnosis help with stress? Hypnosis can be a very effective tool when used with a qualified Hypnotherapist who has an accredited course qualification behind them (always be mindful this when selecting your therapist.)
We would start by finding out what is causing the stress and begin work on relaxing the mind and addressing the feelings surrounding the stress.
In my opinion, Hypnosis is one of the best relaxing techniques that we can apply to ourselves, for if the mind is relaxed, it cannot be anxious or stressed at the same time. Just simply relaxing your mind can bring about an ease to some of the symptoms of stress without even tackling the reasons for the stress.