What is Stress
Stress is a feeling we experience in response to perceived threat. It is a primal survival response to danger and intended to protect us. When you get stressed, your brain initiates a “fight, flight, or freeze” response. Your brain becomes consumed with monitoring the threat and protecting yourself by attacking, doing nothing, or running away. This response is perfect for immediate physical threats like being attacked by a bear or mugger but not for chronic stresses like threats to your livelihood, performing under pressure, or dealing with difficult people. Your brain’s stress response makes you less able to think clearly and rationally. It is as if your mind has been kidnapped and you are no longer in control.
The Symptoms of Stress
Following are some of the more common symptoms of a mind held captive by stress under the control of the subconscious :
You believe what you think and what you think is governed by fear. So when things are going wrong you start blaming and criticising yourself, afraid of the unknown and what’s going to happen next.
You jump to conclusions normally fearing the worst regardless of evidence to the contrary.
The threat you perceive could be coming from a critical parent or boss and your stress levels reach a point that they’re all you can think about. Your ability to remember positive aspects of yourself, past achievements or sources of pride or happiness become diminished. It all becomes doom and gloom.
You organise your life around what you hope will happen, rather than what is most likely to happen. Your ability to keep a level head is compromised and you react impulsively rather than acting from a place of strength.
You waste time and energy blaming yourself or blaming others rather than focusing on the current situation and what you can do about it now! You blame yourself for past decisions that didn’t work out or you blame others without taking responsibility for your part in it all. Blame is an unhelpful approach because it focuses on the past and can lower your self-esteem and even ruin relationships.
Guilt is a positive emotion when it helps you make amends but can be an obstacle when you need to forgive yourself. When regretting a past decision we seldom take into consideration that we did not have all the information available to us at the time or accept that we actually did the best we could at the time.
Overthinking the situation because we are afraid to make the wrong choice can lead to self doubt, undermining self confidence and freezing when action is called for.
Getting caught in a mind trap due to stress lowers your self-esteem, and can create anxiety and depression. Not only are you then dealing with a difficult event, but now your own interpretation of why it happened makes you feel bad about yourself.
Hypnotherapy to Address Stress
Here are some of the ways Hypnotherapy can help:
Relaxing the mind to a point where you can think clearly and put things into perspective rather than letting it dominate your attention and energy. Hypnosis is a fool proof way to relax the mind in a way that places the stressful situation in suspended animation while you consider all your options carefully and efficiently.
Reframing the situation so that what you considered a threatening problem is now seen seen as an opportunity to grow and develop.
Remind you of your strengths, qualities and past achievements. In Hypnosis your critical monkey mind is put to sleep so you can appreciate yourself more.
Practice gratitude. To remind yourself that regardless of how bleak the situation you can always find something to be grateful for. Feeling grateful is the fastest way to free your mind from fear and stress and this is something easily achieved in Hypnosis when the mind is relaxed.
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