STRESS AND ANXIETY

Learn to let go!

Most people have felt stress at some point in their lives.  Stress is when you feel under pressure. Although a little bit of it (sometimes referred to as ‘positive stress’) can be motivating and even empowering, excessive stress or pressure may lead to debilitating symptoms. Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period of time over which an individual feels they have no control. Over a prolonged period of time it can have very real negative effects on the mind and body, as the person is permanently in a fight-or-flight state and therefore unable to relax. Mental stress can translate into physical stress, which in turn creates a vicious circle of negative thinking and  behaviour, gradually spinning more and more out of control.

Symptoms  can vary from anxiety, depression, social isolation, headache, upset stomach or lack of sleep to back pain and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases it can lead to panic attacks or a panic disorder. Symptoms may include, among others:

  • feeling unable to cope
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • changes in appetite
  • frequent crying
  • tiredness
  • insomnia
  • low libido
  • sexual anxiety
  • poor concentration
  • worrying
  • breathlessness
  • sweating
  • nervous twitching
  • inability to complete tasks
  • hypertension
  • cardiovascular disorders
  • rash & other skin disorders
  • warts

These symptoms are increasingly common in the hectic and demanding urban lives most of us live these days. Multiple, sometimes conflicting, demands might be placed on us in the workplace, our family, and social relationships.  Finding an effective way of dealing with stress has never been of more importance than it is today. But once you learn how to relax, you will be surprised how quickly it can feel  like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

Maybe you suffer from panic attacks, or perhaps you’re having difficulty facing presentations at work, or perhaps you need to mentally prepare yourself for a job interview that seems terrifying. Perhaps you just find it generally difficult to remain calm and relaxed, or perhaps you worry too much about things that may never happen. Perhaps it is an issue at work or in your family or relationship that is causing you difficulty, that makes  you fly off the handle for no good reason, or that makes you unduly upset. Stress frequently expresses itself in a state of anxiety or in emotional outbursts, such as anger or low mood. Perhaps this has also resulted in a variety of psycho-somatic physical symptoms such as inexplicable aches and pains, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or poor sleep quality.

What do we do in your sessions? Cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy combines highly effective hypnotic relaxation techniques with CBT-based cognitive-behavioural methods which, combined with hypnotic suggestions, will help you replace unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour with realistic and rational ways of coping with life. Sessions are tailored to your individual needs: we start from identifying your triggers to understand your reactions and thoughts, because people have different coping mechanisms, and so we all react differently to what are essentially the same stressful situations. As you learn how to relax quickly and deeply, we work together on breaking that cycle step by step!

It may seem like an inescapable vicious circle to you now, but the good news is there really is a way out! Your thinking, emotions and behaviours all feed on one another, and so once we positively affect one of them, this will in turn positively influence another, and the whole mechanism can be reversed and start spinning in a postive direction. Did you know that anxiety and excitement are physiologically identical? In both cases you have plenty of adrenaline pumping around your system – whether you experience it as stressful or as enjoyable depends largely on  your expectation and perception! Of course, it is neither desirable nor healthy to feel excited all the time either, and this is why I place my emphasis not just on cognitive work and hypnotic suggestion but also on deep relaxation training! This, more than anything else, will help you think more clearly and to see things in a different light, so you can respond differently. It is easy to master, and you will be surprised how easily and quickly you can let go. I will also teach you how to integrate this skill into your day-to-day life.

Disclaimer:

For physical symptoms such as low libido, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and back pain, a medical cause ought to be ruled out by a medical professional first. Although it is of course often the case, it would be irresponsible and potentially dangerous to simply assume that a physical  ailment in any of these categories  is necessarily psycho-somatic (stress-related).