How Hypnotherapy Helps With Stress And Anxiety

How Hypnotherapy Helps With Stress And Anxiety

Stress can be defined as​ a​ state we experience when there is​ a​ mismatch between perceived demands and our perceived ability to​ cope. Stress can also be defined as​ an​ adaptive response by a​ body to​ change in​ the​ environment. Stress response evolved to​ enable humans to​ deal with life-threatening dangers or​ stressors such as​ being confronted with a​ wild animal or​ perhaps a​ hostile human. Situations like this required action – the​ activation of​ stress response to​ wither stay and fight or​ to​ run away.

Today we hopefully won’t have to​ face the​ same dangers as​ our ancestors but the​ stress response to​ demanding situations we face is​ still with us and our mind and body still prepare for fight or​ flight when confronted with this equivalent of​ the​ wild animal. This is​ where the​ problem may begin as​ activation of​ the​ fight or​ flight response with no physical outlet,​ such as​ if​ we are stuck in​ a​ traffic jam and can’t fight it​ or​ flee it,​ or​ maybe an​ unfair confrontation in​ the​ workplace where once again the​ response for action may be triggered but we cant vent it​ by fighting or​ running away without consequences we would rather avoid. Perhaps both of​ these events and more are experienced on​ the​ same day,​ perhaps every day,​ and the​ stress builds within us until it​ can damage our health if​ a​ solution is​ not found

Stress isn’t always bad – the​ stress response was designed to​ help and protect us and some people even place themselves in​ stressful situations they know they can handle for excitement and ‘the rush’ as​ it​ is​ often called.

We all experience stress in​ different ways depending upon our personality type,​ conditioning and possible training also.

When we face a​ stressor but perceive we have the​ ability to​ deal with it​ successfully a​ feeling of​ success and achievement can be gained. Getting the​ balance right between good stress to​ motivate us and encourage us to​ grow,​ and our ability to​ cope with the​ stress is​ possibly the​ key to​ remaining healthy,​ positive and active in​ whatever arena of​ life we find ourselves.

Our ability to​ cope with stress can be affected by our diet and the​ intake of​ good substances that out body needs to​ remain strong and flexible and to​ repair itself when needed. Also we should avoid anything that could cause us to​ be more stressed or​ weaker such as​ drugs,​ alcohol,​ smoking etc.

Finally,​ stress can be external,​ some event or​ situation that is​ causing stress,​ or​ internal,​ attitudes or​ emotions that lead to​ stress (anxiety,​ guilt,​ low self esteem,​ fear,​ etc).

What is​ the​ Fight/Flight Response? Why do we still have it?

The ‘Fight or​ Flight Response’ is​ a​ physiological reaction and is​ the​ body’s response to​ a​ stressor.

Changes in​ hormones prepare a​ person to​ either stay and deal with a​ stressor or​ to​ take flight/run away. This immediate state of​ alarm is​ when the​ body prepares to​ take action,​ and in​ this state a​ person will be extremely alert to​ their surroundings but also very anxious and possibly unable to​ concentrate.

The body will slow down systems not vital in​ responding to​ the​ stressor,​ such as​ the​ digestive system,​ which is​ why a​ person in​ a​ fight or​ flight situation may have a​ dry mouth and a​ nervous/upset stomach. the​ body will make other preparations such as​ improved cooling for the​ body as​ more energy is​ used and this will result in​ perspiration.

The fight or​ flight response is​ a​ very old and very basic response and has been with us for a​ very long time. it​ was originally a​ response to​ danger that would prepare our ancestors to​ fight the​ wild beast or​ the​ enemy who might suddenly threaten or​ confront them,​ or​ to​ take flight and literally run away from the​ danger.

This response is​ triggered when we send a​ message of​ alarm to​ a​ part of​ the​ brain called the​ hypothalamus. This area of​ the​ brain will then send a​ signal to​ the​ glands to​ release adrenaline,​ cortisol and endorphin into the​ blood stream. Increased levels of​ adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow which in​ turn brings extra oxygen and glucose to​ the​ muscles. Cortisol causes an​ increase in​ amino-acids and sugars in​ the​ blood. Amino-acids are crucial for the​ repair and recovery of​ damaged tissues which may occur under stress and the​ blood sugar adds to​ the​ availability of​ glucose (fuel) for the​ body.

The release of​ endorphin,​ which is​ a​ morphine like substance only more powerful,​ provides the​ body’s natural tranquilizing system. Pain is​ blocked and a​ feeling of​ euphoria may be experienced,​ both helping to​ get the​ body through the​ situation it​ may find itself in​ due to​ stress.

We still have this response,​ as​ it​ is​ still necessary to​ prepare and protect us in​ times of​ alarm,​ such as​ being involved in​ an​ emergency situation of​ any kind,​ or​ being confronted with any form of​ potentially life threatening danger.

Once the​ initial stages of​ this fight or​ flight response are over,​ a​ person will have a​ psychological reaction to​ the​ stressor which will be based upon many variables including,​ personality type,​ conditioning,​ age,​ physical and mental ability,​ and their knowledge relevant to​ the​ situation to​ be dealt with.

It is​ very often the​ resulting symptoms of​ this fight or​ flight response kicking in​ that we tend to​ call a​ panic attack. what actually happens is​ that we may be in​ a​ situation where we can’t fight or​ flight,​ such as​ a​ meeting or​ on​ a​ train,​ and so we become more and more anxious and may feel as​ though we will pass out,​ or​ be sick,​ or​ any one of​ a​ number of​ responses. What often happens then,​is we find we have a​ desperate need to​ urinate,​ and that is​ another way the​ subconscious mind will sometimes attempt to​ gain our attention and force us to​ leave the​ arena in​ which we find ourselves at​ the​ time. it​ is​ normally the​ feeling of​ not being able to​ escape,​ and knowing that we might have this strong feeling to​ fight or​ flight that causes much of​ the​ anxiety and expectation of​ problems for most people who find they need help to​ overcome their problem.

Also,​ many people….no…that should be most people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety will normally have the​ need for some Obsessive compulsive actions in​ their life…it can often be a​ type of​ coping,​ or​ controlling strategy.

Why hypnotherapy is​ totally different from any other form of​ therapy?

Hypnotherapy is​ different from any other form of​ therapy because of​ the​ way in​ which the​ therapy part happens while one is​ in​ hypnosis. Put another way,​ hypnotherapy is​ a​ very effective combination of​ hypnosis,​ a​ trance or​ altered state of​ mind and deep relaxation,​ and the​ chosen therapy,​ which might be for example; suggestion therapy,​ regression,​ ego states therapy,​ neuro-linguistic-programming or​ hypnoanalysis.

Hypnosis allows an​ individual to​ enter a​ state of​ deep relaxation which in​ itself is​ a​ very useful therapy for combating stress. it​ also allows one to​ become calm and focused,​ as​ all parts of​ the​ mind work together and concentrate on​ solving the​ problem at​ hand,​ and therefore making the​ very best use of​ the​ chosen therapy as​ it​ is​ applied.

Why it​ is​ so helpful in​ cases of​ stress,​ anxiety and panic attacks?

Hypnosis is​ a​ state in​ which the​ conscious critical faculty is​ temporarily suspended or​ distracted and in​ which all parts of​ the​ mind work in​ harmony for the​ good of​ the​ whole being.

When in​ hypnosis an​ individual can become very relaxed and at​ the​ same time very aware and ‘sharp’,​ mentally focused.

For the​ computer literate,​ I would liken hypnosis to​ the​ ‘safe mode’ on​ a​ computer,​ where if​ a​ part of​ the​ system is​ acting up or​ malfunctioning,​ placing the​ system in​ safe mode allows for investigation and repair to​ be carried out safely while minimising the​ risk to​ the​ normal operating systems. in​ some sports it​ would be like a​ ‘time-out’,​ where all parts of​ the​ team come together briefly to​ review the​ current state of​ play,​ to​ identify where poor choices may have affected the​ outcomes and to​ choose a​ new strategy to​ move forward with.

In the​ normal hurly burly of​ life we seldom have time to​ take a​ time out,​ or​ to​ go into safe mode to​ pull together our resources and to​ calmly take stock and plan our best way forward. Hypnosis then,​ is​ a​ safe,​ relaxing state in​ which we can let go the​ tensions in​ and around us for a​ short period,​ and in​ which,​ if​ we desire it,​ a​ skilled therapist can guide us through the​ stages of​ investigation,​ discovery,​ planning and repair we may need.

Hypnotherapy therefore provides relaxation (and clients of​ good therapists learn self-hypnosis so they can find this deep relaxation for themselves) and is​ therefore useful at​ even this basic level,​ as​ a​ kind of​ first aid. the​ good therapist will help the​ client to​ find any repressed emotions,​ triggers and false instincts from the​ past that are a​ kind of​ out-of-date,​ erroneous,​ or​ maybe just no longer wanted or​ needed programming,​ that loops around once triggered to​ cause us much anxiety and feelings of​ panic,​ but we often don’t know why. Following this,​ the​ wonderful power of​ hypnotic suggestion,​ and Neuro-Linguistic programming techniques will be used to​ provide new and efficient programming to​ support moves forward into a​ much more positive life with a​ better outlook on​ everything..

How Hypnotherapy Helps With Stress And Anxiety

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