Hypnotherapy for Stress
Stress Management with Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, EFT Tapping and Matrix Reimprinting
There is an idea amongst some high achievers that experiencing stress is a sign of weakness. Many successful people find that low levels of stress help their performance but long periods of stress takes a toll on the body and it starts to stop coping.
The reality is 80% of us think “life’s moving too fast and that the number of things we have to do and worry about is a major cause of stress, unhappiness and illness”. Over 50% said they had “difficulty relaxing or switching off”, and that they couldn’t stop thinking about “things they’ve got to do”. (1) 20% of people said they were experiencing extreme levels of stress and only 37% felt they were actually doing a good job at managing it. (2)
Stress is primarily designed to help us get out of physical danger. When we feel threatened, a part of our brain called the amygdala sets off an alarm bell which triggers the “fight or flight” response, blood is flooded with ‘stress hormones’ adrenaline and cortisol, increasing our heart rate and blood pressure, as well as our respiration. This allows us to transport oxygen to our muscles quickly so we can “act fast” to get out of danger.
Society has evolved since the days of our ancestors who lived in dangerous environments however our reaction to stress and danger has not. While this heightened state once helped us with the physical threat of a sabre-toothed tiger, it does little to help us with today's worries like job instability or paying the bills, however the response remains the same.
Stress stops the normal functioning of our body. The body assumes there’s a physical threat at hand, so it channels energy into getting out of immediate danger, getting ready to fight (anger), flight (anxiety and insomnia) or freeze (depression). To do this, it shuts down non-essential systems which are taking up energy, our digestive processes (IBS & loss of appetite although paradoxically cortisol makes the body hold onto tummy fat), immune system (illness, headaches, cancer), growth and reproductive processes are inhibited (infertility and erectile dysfunction....no time for nooky or a nap when we’re being chased!) A bit of stress in short doses is useful in improving our memory and peaking our performance. However, too much, too regularly, is extremely damaging to our mental and physical well-being.
According to neuroscientists, as you relax and meditate, the structure and function of the brain changes, the amygdala becomes less active, and attention increases. (3 ) Hypnotherapy, tapping (EFT) & relaxation soothes our nervous system. Relaxation and positive visualisation activates the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system, helping with stress management. Our heart rate slows, our respiration slows and our blood pressure drops. (4) While chronic activation of the fight or flight response can be extremely damaging to the body, the relaxation response is restorative, benefitting our wellbeing.
- 1. The Mental Health Foundation. (2010). The Mindfulness Report.
- 2. American Psychological Association. (2012). The Impact of Stress.
- 3. Buddha's Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation
- 4. Benson, H., Beary, J., & Carol, M. (1974). The relaxation response. Psychiatry. 19, 37. 37-45.6.