What is Stress
Stress is intended to be the body's natural response to a threat. It flushes the body with cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline (among others) that quickly shift the body to “fight or flight”. As the body's energy and resources shift to evading the charging tiger, functions not relevant to “run” are severely diminished, things like recognizing future possibilities, problem solving and even digestion. None of these will be important if you're about to be eaten by a tiger!
Stress today is different, but it still triggers the same responses in the body. Stress can be experienced in a variety of situations from the sound of a phone ringing to the feeling of intense work overload, financial hardship or the death of a loved-one. The event is not the issue, the way we respond to it determines the level of stress it creates. Today's stresses need us to keep our other faculties in place so that we have the mental capacity to resolve the stressor, it's no longer usually about “run to safety”.
That's the goal of this session. This session makes it possible to calm the “run” response going on it the mind and body, so you can access information and recognize either the irrationality of whatever you're feeling stressed about or find potential solutions to what's stressing you. The solution is there, just usually inaccessible with all those stress hormones whirling around.
Using Hypnosis for Stress
This stress management session works by communicating with the conscious critical-thinking mind in ways it understands in conjunction with symbolism which is best understood by the subconscious mind as it works behind the scenes. This combination allows the subconscious mind to amplify effects, be called upon easily as needed and even continue to operate in the background after the session has ended.
This session helps you shift from a stressed, anxious, overactive mind into a state of calm focus. It is only in a state of calm focus that solutions can best be recognized and evaluated. The ultimate goal is not to mask the stress, but discover the underlying cause and eliminate it. That can sound easy, but the real cause is not always what it appears to be. Let's say a person knows they are stressed over finances. Yes, more money may solve the problem and the immediate stress, but the real underlying cause could be lack of confidence in asking for that deserved raise, or inability to see the money-making opportunities right in front of them. In this case, money could arrive to solve the immediate issue, but another financial crisis is likely to occur. This session was designed to help the mind calmly find the real cause and find a lasting solution.
This will be the best $20 you've spent all year!
I have also included a copy of an evaluation to help you evaluate your stress factors and how they maybe impacting your health. While the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale is a well-known assessment of how stress factors may affect illness, it is not a pure indicator as it does not take into account things like cultural bias and use of good stress management techniques. Other stress tests can be found here. According to The American Institute of Stress numerous emotional and physical disorders have been linked to stress. In fact, it's hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play a role. Check them out here: 50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress can be found on their website.
What Else Can be Done to Manage Stress Better
There are many ways to manage stress better. Here are seven of my favorites (alphabetical). Each one of these could be a post in itself, so I'll just give a few highlights. If there are any you would like detailed information about, let me know in the comments:
Earthing (aka Grounding)
Get grounded! Go outside and walk around barefoot in the grass, dirt or at the beach in the sand. We are electro-magnetic in nature. This is a simple (free) tool that allows the built up electrical charge in your body to be released (grounded) into the earth.
I sleep on an earthing pad I made myself, but you can buy them here. If you want more information on the DIY version, just email me I'm happy to share. For additional information I recommend reading "Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!" by Ober, Sinatra and Zucker. You can find this book and other options here.
Heartmath is well worth investigating. Research has show amazing results across the board from housewives to troubled youth to our measurable connection with trees and plants. Check out this fascinating research here. This requires a device which can be purchased here, or perhaps there are practitioners in your area. If you are in So Cal, feel free to contact me. It would take a separate post to get into the details, but you can read about the science of Heartmath here.
Home Remedy - Herbs
Simple tea made from Chamomile, Lemon Balm, St. Johns Wort, Kava Kava, Lavendar & or Valerian work wonders to create a relaxed mood and better sleep less bothered by repeating thoughts. If you're not a DIY'r I highly recommend Doc Jone's formulas from the Homegrown Herbalist.
Meditation is an amazing tool, not just for stress however I find that unless you are a seasoned meditator (or are using hypnosis assisted meditation) it can be very difficult to reach this state while stressed. Hypnosis can also be used to drastically improve your meditation practice.
It is not uncommon in our home for someone to periodically say “I need some Tree-Time”. That statement always turned into a camping trip where we could spend time in nature. If camping isn't your thing or you can't take the time away, most cities have a lovely park or wilderness area where you can connect with nature more readily. As you walk through the park or wooded area, walk with intent, listening to the birds, rustle in the trees, sound of your foot steps. Hear what nature is telling you.
Some people use shopping therapy, but I find this just causes more stress in the long-term. I prefer Pamper Therapy. I don't think its a real word, but I like it. It boils down to taking time for yourself, whatever that means for you.
For me, it means:
- Nosing through a library book sale
- Curling up with my cat, a cup of tea, and a good book
- A special kitchen creation
- Mandala coloring
- A candlelit aromatherapy bath
- A bike ride along the beach
- Even a visit to my local thrift store looking for treasures.
Making time to do something you enjoy is even more needed when you don't think you really have the time for it.