How to deal with stress and anxiety

Symptoms of stress and anxiety are increasing. We live in a society where there are many demands on us. Today, one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at one time in the UK. Some people are able to manage, but increasing numbers are showing signs of over-anxiety and stress which have a significant impact on lifestyle and wellbeing.

Isn’t stress just part of life though?

I am afraid so. However the way that we respond to the stress in our lives affects how we cope. We all know people who seem to have very busy lives yet remain calm and happy. Perhaps you are already exploring ways in which you can become one of those people.

Physical and psychological signs of stress and anxiety

  • Chest tightness
  • Racing heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Butterflies in the stomach and nausea
  • Inner tension
  • Agitation
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Fear of losing control/ blacking out

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Perhaps you can recognise some of these signs in yourself.

What causes stress and anxiety?

Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated and is out of proportion to the situation, although it may not sometimes feel that it is. Sometimes a specific event such as an exam, an interview, speaking in public, flying or a sports competition can be a source of anxiety.  It can also manifest itself I other situations such as being around people, being at work or at school, anxiety in specific relationships or social situations. Many people feel a sense of anxiety most of the time even though there is no obvious trigger.

Fight or flight

The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or fight-or-flight. This is a primitive response which protects you from threats and danger in the environment by allowing blood to flow to the arms and legs so that you can fight or run away. A release of Adrenalin allows this process to take place. This is a normal part of the human protection system, provided there is a real threat. To experience a prolonged fight-or-flight reaction leads to anxiety.

Why is this a problem?

Prolonged exposure to stress hormones such as Cortisol can lead to:

  • Memory problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reduced fertility
  • Increased blood pressure.

How can hypnotherapy help?

A hypnotherapist can help you to asses your stress and anxiety and discover its origins. You can work towards a goal or reducing or eliminating anxiety from your life. Hypnotherapy helps with sleep disturbance and teaches you relaxation. It can help you to break free from negative thought patterns allowing you to be more positive and confident in situations which may have previously caused you anxiety.

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