Image by Mohamed Nohassi
 

Stress is often triggered by situations or events that makes us feel nervous, angry, frustrated and is often reported when someone has experienced a loss, change, or transition in their lives. Stress is experienced when we feel the burden of the internal or external pressure that is being placed upon us. It can be physical or mental, short or long-term and the severity of stress experienced will depend upon the individual and the resources they perceive themselves to have, or need, to be able to cope with or eliminate the stressor.

Experiencing stress in lesser volumes, for a short period of time can be beneficial. It encourages critical thinking and provides motivation for us to make decisions with the aim of changing or eliminating the stressor. Problems arise when stress starts to affect our everyday lives, sometimes leading us to increasingly engage in self-defeating behaviours to try to cope.

The fight, flight, or freeze response is controlled by our atavistic brain. Early humans needed to be able to fight, freeze (to make ourselves less visible to) or run away from a source of physical danger and our bodies were finely tuned to perform those functions. Even today, without the fight, flight, or freeze response, we would not be able to keep ourselves safe from potential harm. This same fight, flight, or freeze response can occur equally in reaction to psychological and physical stressors as the unconscious mind often cannot differentiate between the source of the perceived threat.

 

The demands that the world places upon us can sometimes feel overwhelming and when we don’t learn how to deal with stress, it may well begin to damage our physical and mental wellbeing. Chronic stress that persists for weeks, or even months can produce constant and elevated levels of cortisol, increasing our blood sugar, cholesterol levels and circulating fatty acids. These long-term changes in blood composition can lead to varying levels of fatigue, weight gain, immune system compromise, and actively contribute to the development of heart disease.

Stress can be emotional (a relationship breakdown), environmental (drinking too much caffeine), overdrive or burnout (the result of burning the candle at both ends or having an incredibly demanding job). Stress can also be hormonal (during adolescence or menopause) and interestingly, whilst stress doesn’t actually cause allergies, it does cause elevated levels of the hormone histamine to be released into the bloodstream, exacerbating the symptoms of allergic reactions such as rhinitis or eczema.

As well as the physical symptoms discussed above, stress can also cause:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Increased heart rate

  • Hypertension

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Stomach pain

  • Headaches

  • Migraines

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • Malaise

  • Insomnia

  • Sweating

  • A dry mouth

  • Weight loss

Psychological symptoms of stress include:

  • Feelings of overwhelming panic

  • Feeling a loss of control

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Anticipating the worst

  • Feeling tense

  • Irrational thoughts

  • Ruminating thoughts

  • Uncontrollable thoughts

  • Feeling fearful

  • Loss of sex drive / libido

  • Arousal disorders / anorgasmia

  • Misuse of alcohol / medications / illicit drugs

As many of these symptoms can also be an indication of an underlying physical or psychological abnormality, it may be the case that clients must seek GP advice before beginning a course of hypnotherapy to ensure that there are no underlying medical issues that may be causing these symptoms.

Interestingly, as well as the physical effects of stress, a reduction in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine can lead to emotional shifts too. In the instance of a positive stressful event such as getting married or having a child, happiness, excitement, and a sense of challenge may be experienced, however positive these events may be, they are still stressful and the stress we feel can also be eased with hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy can allow you to completely relax, let go of stress and tension, discover the true source of the issue, and help you to establish coping mechanisms and positive behaviours that will assist you in coping with stress in any form, whenever it may occur in the future.

This course of hypnotherapy can usually be completed over four to six sessions, however some clients living with stress cannot pinpoint it's origin and may require more in depth techniques such as regression to seek out a root cause. If this is the case, we will discuss this after the first few sessions as an option to enable you to get the results that you desire and deserve. As part of your comprehensive stress management program, you'll be provided with voice recordings of your individualised scripts so that you can listen to them between sessions to re-enforce what you are learning and to provide ongoing support should you need it in the future.

 

Please feel free to contact me or to launch a chat if you require any more information. Alternatively, if you are ready, click the button below to book your free, no obligation initial consultation.

I look forward to meeting you and working with you soon!