Life on the ceiling
In our increasingly time-poor lives, many people find that the race to keep up with everything – the job, the house, the partner, the children - becomes a race to perfection, often fuelled by the ‘how to’ guides and media obsession with perfect bodies and perfect lives. Is it possible to be beautifully turned out, complete your work by the deadline and within budget, be home in time to commune with the children and listen to the equally pressed other half before a wholesome home-made loaf pops out of the (spotless) oven?
However, somewhere in the deepest recesses of our mind, there is a niggling feeling that it might just be possible, or at least, that we could move a little nearer to it.
But at what cost?
In the striving, we lose sight of something. That stress, or, more properly, distress, has insidiously become part of our lives. As hypnotherapists, we often see clients who describe themselves as not particularly stressed, after which they outline extensively their busy lives packed with work trips away, looking after an elderly parent or sick partner, while keeping up with the school run and an arm’s long list of domestic tasks. And you don’t have to have a job and small children to suffer stress. Even a list of mentally effortful tasks – dealing with family crises or health worries, or unresolved problems from the past – can rack up your stress points.
Stress can, in fact, creep up on us to the extent that we become used to it and it becomes a standard way of life. It’s only when we ‘crash and burn’ that we are forced to step back and review how we’re actually spending our time and how the ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ of the week have crushed the ‘should like to’ and 'wouldn’t it be fun to?’
So, when a client who’s been ‘living on the ceiling’ for some time, comes to see a therapist, they often present with something that is the physical representation or symptom of inner stress, whether that’s over-eating, insomnia, skin conditions, migraine or panic attacks. The stress that hasn’t even had time to rear its ugly head and wail, has inevitably found a way out through the body. And this is why hypnotherapy has so many positive applications.
We have long forgotten, here in the Western World, the many ways of deep relaxation that our friends in the East have embraced as part of their culture. It sometimes comes as a surprise how deeply we can learn to relax and how, in this relaxed state, our unconscious mind can come to re-learn what it already knew: how to sleep well, eat healthily or manage the pressures of the daily routine without burning out.
Your hypnotherapist can be a sounding board, which in itself can provide solace to those who feel they should be able to do more than they already do. But more than that, they can lead an individual down the path to peace and calm and teach them how to recreate that again themselves, leading to a lowering of stress levels and a cessation or reduction in stress-related symptoms. This valuable skill can be a lifelong resource on which to draw, long after sessions with the hypnotherapist have ended.
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