In today’s world stress is something very few can avoid! We all experience it to a varying degree but too much can be damaging to our physical and mental health.
There are many things in life that can cause stress including work, relationships, finances, and family issues. Some people develop unhealthy coping strategies such as drinking and smoking or gambling which may feel like a quick fix, they are ultimately making it worse. I know that when I treat smokers they somehow believe that the cigarettes calm them but this is often an association between breathing deeper and having a break, yet there is nothing in a cigarette that is calming as it’s a stimulant. The mind tricks us that these bad habits help us and therefore keep people seemingly addicted to these substances and behaviours. The root cause of what is causing the stress needs to be examined and treated. Once discovered clients are given strategies to help they cope giving them their power back to live a healthier, happier life.
SO, WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress goes back to primitive caveman days and is therefor an innate reaction in the brain. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline trigger the flight, fight, freeze part of the brain as a survival mechanism. This is needed to give you the energy required to run for your life or fight, so all your energy is pumped to the arms and legs with the heart working harder to provide this. Rarely nowadays we find ourselves in real danger on a daily basis, but the brain still reacts as if we are when experiencing extreme prolonged stress as if it has lost the ability to switch off once out of perceived danger. It creates an inappropriate exercise response when we suffer a panic attack rather than the unhelpful metaphor of a panic attack which is not helpful to those who are most stressed in society.
WHERE DOES IT BEGIN?
Stress typically begins when we feel pressure from others or ourselves. When we perceive we cannot cope the stress reaction begins? The effects vary from person to person and left untreated can cause sometimes severe illness. This is because without the release of the stress chemical they continue to build up and up and like a pressure cooker can cause trauma in the mind leading to anxiety and depression.
Everything is perception, we can all look at the same object or situation and view it completely differently, someone may see it exciting as a challenge and feel positive about it while to another they may see it neutrally while to another it may appear as the worst thing ever. It’s never the thing or situation that is bad it’s the only perception. The good news is we can change our perception of anything if we choose to or sometimes that can change naturally over time with different life experiences. Mind coaching and hypnosis can help make these changes as we now know about plasticity within the brain means we have more flexibility than previously believed.
The underlying issue with stress is the feeling of not being in control, that’s why I teach my clients to either do something about it or if they can’t to accept it and therefore find peace within themselves that will eliminate the stress.
Accept that life is full of changes and embrace them and know that nothing is permanent, this is one of the first things I learnt when studying Buddhism for many years with wisdom teachings and meditation. Buddhist teaching was the foundation for me of really understanding the mind and how we tick and do the things we do which often do not make logical sense. Now as a clinical hypnotherapist I understand how the unconscious patterns and the logical conscious mind work differently and that emotions always override logic. Stress is not a logical process is pure survival which hijacks the thinking brain. By helping my clients to relax I can help them to switch on the thinking logical part of the brain again. If you would like to learn to control your stress levels, I can help to teach you with this using many different methods.
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