Hypnotherapy Directory investigates the causes of Christmas stress and anxiety, revealing how relaxation techniques and self-hypnosis could help. Clinical hypnotherapist Mary Burgess also offers a selection of practical tips to help make life that little bit easier over the holidays.
What is stress?
Stress is essentially a feeling we get when we feel under too much pressure, whether that comes from outside sources or from ourselves. A small amount of stress can actually be useful as it prompts us into action; when it builds up however, it can lead to physical and psychological problems including anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, headaches and even depression.
Why do we get stressed at Christmas?
Christmas should be a time for giving and joy, but for many it is the most stressful time of year. Pressure can come from all angles, including finding enough money to finance presents, cooking a large dinner and trying to stick to that healthy eating regime.
Online resource Hypnotherapy Directory carried out an online poll1 to see which part of Christmas was deemed the most stressful; the results were as follows:
- 47% of respondents think buying presents is the most stressful part of Christmas.
- 10% find socialising the hardest.
- 10% struggle with healthy eating.
- 10% think getting the family together is the most stressful factor.
A further 23% shared their own Christmas stressors – which included financial concerns, everywhere being too busy and coping with the stress of hosting.
This poll shows that on average most people seem to find buying presents the most stressful thing about Christmas, but whatever the cause of your stress – it is important that you deal with it before it affects your health. To manage stress effectively, there are several different coping strategies you could try. An increasingly popular way to combat stress and anxiety is through hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy for stress
The body’s stress response (commonly known as the ‘fight or flight response’) triggers a set of symptoms within the body including a rapid heartbeat, an adrenaline rush and shallow breathing. To counteract this, hypnotherapy aims to trigger the body’s relaxation response – which tells the body that it’s OK to relax – before altering thought patterns surrounding stressful situations.
During your session you may also be shown some self-hypnosis, including breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques. These are key as you will be able to come back to these again and again whenever you feel stressed.
Practical stress relief tips
On top of dealing with the way you think about and cope with stress, there are other precautions you can take to help Christmas run smoothly. Clinical hypnotherapist and member of Hypnotherapy Directory Mary Burgess shares her tips to help reduce Christmas stress:
1) Schedule in some personal chill-out time for yourself over Christmas – why not treat yourself to getting your hair or nails done?
2) Delegate some of the Christmas organising to other members of the family, it will make them feel useful and will take some pressure off yourself.
3) Remember you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so don’t try to!
4) Try to fit in some time to exercise, this will help combat stress and will get those endorphins flowing.
5) Finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Play some games with the family, watch a funny Christmas film – anything to get you laughing and remembering what Christmas is really about.
1 Poll based on responses from 30 visitors to the site from 14th November to 10th December.