Stress vs. anxiety part 2
In the first part of the article, we focused on stress. Now that we’ve learnt what’s causing it and how it works, let’s have a look at its connections with anxiety.
Since stress means emergency mode for the body, it moves the body out of balance. It is without a doubt that no one can sustain a healthy lifestyle in that emergency mode of stress without causing the damage to their body. Can you imagine any living creature or even a machine being in an emergency mode for a longer period of time? We all know what happens: first it slows down and then it starts failing with its tasks. The problem starts not because of stress itself, but because living in stress becomes normality. It basically means people live in emergency mode the majority of their time. Results of a stressful lifestyle will show in many different ways. People develop skin conditions, illnesses, hair loss, chronic pain and fatigue, sleep issues, etc. One of the possible outcomes of living in stress is anxiety.
Part two: creation of anxiety
When someone is repressing stress for a long time it can turn into an anxiety. Stress is a preface of anxiety; it is stage one. The same thoughts, emotions and feelings that create stress also create anxiety. Feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and unworthiness are the strongest amongst them. By not dealing with them and repressing them, a client is creating a “pressure cooker” environment where at some stage all of these repressed emotions explode.
Anxiety is a condition characterised by feelings of tension, fear and worry, as well as physical symptoms such as dizziness, higher blood pressure, sweating etc. People who suffer from anxiety have usually big issues with sleeping and are feeling tense most of the time.
Symptoms of stress and anxiety are very similar, but with anxiety they get much stronger and more powerful, all to the point of causing a panic attack. If stress means that the body moves out of balance for a certain period of time, anxiety is characterised as a mental disorder. We are much more in control with stress. Even though we usually realise it only after the stress has taken over, we can catch ourselves and become aware of it. We can do some breathing and mindfulness exercises that calm us down. We can manage it much easier than anxiety. Most of the time we can trace it back and understand what caused the stress response. There are situations or people that we know are more likely to trigger stress in us. Anxiety is much more unpredictable. There might be situations or places that can be potential triggers for anxiety, but there are no rules to this game. It can happen at any time, anywhere. This, in consequence, only increases the feeling of powerlessness and a feeling of not being in control. Furthermore, it creates a fear of anxiety itself. People who suffer from anxiety start to live in a vicious circle of fear which only gets stronger, and it also increases the feeling of “there is no way out of this”. Anxiety clients tend to turn inwards and detach themselves from the outer world. When they are with other people they don’t really feel as themselves, as there tends to be a strong feeling of disconnection.
Even though it seems that there is no way out of the vicious circle of anxiety, here’s the good news: hypnotherapy is proven to help! When in hypnosis the client connects with their subconsciousness, the critical factor of the conscious mind is switched off which enables the client to explore the root and the cause of the issue. The thoughts and emotions which are causing anxiety are stored in the subconscious mind and in hypnotherapy, the client faces, understands and releases them.
To quote Dr. Joe Dispenza: “It is a scientific fact that the hormones of stress downregulate genes and create diseases, these are long term effects. Human beings, because of the size of neural cortex, we can turn on the stress response just by thought alone. That means then that our thoughts could make us sick.” He continues: "If our thoughts can make us sick, they can make us well too!".
The main reason why hypnotherapy is extraordinarily effective is because of its ability to change the thought patterns. Hypnosis means that a client moves into the alpha brainwave state. It is the most effective way to rewire the brain and start to create new neuronal pathways in the brain. “Every habit of action is run by a habit of thought.” - Marisa Peer. By changing thought patterns the client is changing the way they feel, which furthermore changes their actions and therefore their events.
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