The Gentle Mind

Worried? Stressed? Nervous? Anxious? Relax

Why do I feel anxious and panicky?

Stress has been given a bad name.

It’s your body’s way of dealing with threats – imagined or real.

Sometimes this automatic process is called the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the “stress response”.

What’s happening in your body is protecting you, say, when you slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident. It keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work. Drives you to run that bit faster in a race. Or, makes you study for an exam instead of vegging out in front of the TV.

But everything in moderation.

Too much stress

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body.

Notably, the adrenaline increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure – and cortisol. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can be useful, temporarily, as it increases energy by triggering the release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping you to fight or run away. But over a long period of time, cortisol can also cause:

  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of sex drive

Plus, if left untreated, stress can lead to psychological problems. It can make you feel distrust, anger, anxiety and fear. In turn, these negative emotions can destroy relationships both at home and at work.

Stress, Hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Stress can affect how you feel, think and behave as well as how your body works, Why? Because your mind and body constantly interact with each other.

We are what we think, feel and act.

For example, if you’re stressed about a work presentation, you might not think straight, then you feel nervous and your actions change – your hands shake and you sweat.

Typical cognitive (negative thoughts) symptoms are:

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

Your behaviours (actions) change too. You are more likely to:

  • Eat more or less
  • Sleep too much, or too little
  • Withdraw from others - you come across as cold, distant or snappy
  • Procrastinate or neglect responsibilities
  • Use alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Show nervous habits - nail-biting, pacing

We can work together on reducing your stress using Hypnosis to get you to focus and relax, and cognitive behavioural therapy to change how you think and act at key moments.

This helps you to learn the signs of upcoming stress and deal with it. So you feel calm and relaxed when you:

  • Enter the board room to make a presentation
  • Meet a date for the first time
  • Are you in the run-up to taking a penalty
  • Read the questions on an exam paper

We especially look at your breathing

Breathing exercises can help you relax. How? Because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.

It's not just something we work on in the therapy room, you work between sessions to become stronger

I may ask you to keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings and actions in stressful situations and how they change over time – and what you can do to help yourself.

For example:

  • practice being in the boardroom on your own, be familiar with the space, rehearse there.
  • exercise and smile – try being stressed then! Also getting out and exercising boosts confidence: you’re not hiding away.
  • if you can take yourself to a place that “stresses you out”. Look around. Breathe deeply. Feel tall. Change how you think and feel in that moment. Forget the past, the future. Relax in the here and now.

And always remember. You’re not alone. You’re part of a team. We work together me, your hypnotherapist, and you, my client.

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