Stress busting with hypnotherapy
It's National Stress Day on the 1st November, and perhaps a good time to reflect on how hypnotherapy can help with arguably one of the greatest challenges facing us as a society in modern times.
It's important first of all to put in perspective - some stress can be good in terms of a motivating factor. It can help us overcome challenges, keeping us on our toes and ensuring that we meet our responsibilities. After all, it serves an evolutionary purpose - the fight/flight mechanism helped our ancestors survive when encountering predators. However, our brain has not evolved nearly as fast as our way of living has, meaning that the same response is triggered in response to a traffic jam as to a sabre-toothed tiger! So we need to learn ways of managing this.
Breathing techniques are the most immediate tools we can teach our clients, enabling them to learn to activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system - it's natural calming down mechanism. We can also teach them self-hypnosis to practice in between sessions. This is important for several reasons - not only does it make them make time to relax, but the more the mind and body get to practise relaxation, the better they get at it. Our neural networks work in much the same way as our physical bodies do - they automatically take the most familiar route, so let's make it a good one!
It's also important to identify any fundamental human needs that may be being neglected - obvious ones like sleep, nutrition, and exercise to socialising and play (yes, play!) As stress tends to come from different directions it's not always easy to identify a single cause, but this process can still help people take a step back and look at their life in a fresh perspective.
Hypnotherapy can also help people return to the source of their stress, as it often originates from an early age. Trying to meet the expectations of parents and other significant people in a person's childhood is a common cause - and these stress responses have magnified in later life with an increase in responsibilities. Breaking patterns formed in childhood can, however, improve how a person responds to stress in the here and now.
Hypnotherapy is deeply relaxing in itself - some people say afterwards it is the most relaxed they have ever felt in their lives. As the festive season approaches, it may well be the perfect time to see just how much ease and calmness it can bring.