Every day we hear new statistics about how many people's lives are being affected by stress. It would be far too easy to consign stress to being just something we have to put up with if we are to get ahead and be successful in today's high technology society.
How do you define "success"? Is it by the amount of money, status and possessions you have acquired? Is it by the position you have attained at work? Or is it by how content you feel with whatever little you have?
Excessive stress is not something that we should have to put up with and accept. We need to accept that stress exists and that it is a killer - there are statistics produced every minute that prove this. Stress affects the functioning of our heart, lungs, stomach, intestines and blood vessels. In fact there is no system in the body that has been unaffected by a stress-related disease.
Why do some people seem to be affected by stress more than others? Contrary to popular belief the people who cope with stressful situations are not necessarily more intelligent or more capable. They just react to situations differently. It is not the situation that causes the stress. It is how the person reacts to it.
Some people feel stressed by attending important meetings, others by going to a party where they don't know many people. Some feel stressed by having to achieve deadlines, others by being late for an appointment. The point is that not everyone feels stressed by attending important meetings, and not everyone feels stressed by going to a party. If it was the situation that directly caused the stress, everybody would feel stressed by exactly the same things. It is precisely because different people feel stressed by different things that shows us that the key lies in how we react as an individual to a potentially stressful situation. The word "potentially" is important. The situation will not necessarily lead to you feel stressed. This depends on how you react to it. For example, instead of feeling stressed about attending a party where you know no-one, by thinking "I wonder how many interesting people will be there?", you can feel a sense of excitement about the new people you will meet.
Our brains are wired up in such a simple way that we behave like computers run by programs. When we feel stressed it is because we have programmed ourselves to react in a specific fashion to a particular event. All we need to do is alter the programming.
Hypnotherapy can be used to explore the reasons why you react in particular ways, and decide how you want to tackle them. You can decide how you want to change. The relaxed state of a light hypnotic trance is remarkably effective in getting rid of stress. It allows you to experience a potentially stressful situation in your imagination, while physically experiencing calm. The situation/sensation are completely incompatible, and this has the effect of breaking the connection between the situation and the stress that you normally experience. When you re-enter that situation in life, you will find that you experience it in a completely new way.
Hypnosis is an ideal state in which to learn more positive ways of thinking, breathing techniques to bring calm, and assertive behaviours to help you cope more effectively. Hypnotic trances can be used to access times when you felt calm, relaxed and confident, and you can call upon them when you need to. These practical techniques, taught in trance, can be used in your daily life, and no-one will ever know what you are doing.
Allison Reed, Complementary Therapist and Hypnotherapist Therapy Centre, 78-82 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol, BS5 9JY - Tel. : 07837 222 730