Stress is ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension’ (Oxforddictionaries.com). It is our natural reaction to fear or change, which our subconscious deals badly with. The feelings of stress are created by the stimulation and inhibition of neurotransmitters in our brains by the subconscious, and adrenalin and cortisol is released into the body, making it ready to run away from or deal with the situation head on (P 41 “Understanding the Self” edited by Richard Stevens).
A certain level of stress is important for our motivation and can often be useful. For example, if we have a deadline at work, a small amount of stress enables us to work faster and in a more concentrated fashion so that we are more likely to complete the task in time. If we are performing in a concert or a show, we may feel nervous, which helps us to stay alert and perform better.
Each of us is able to cope with differing amounts of stress; some people appear to cope better with stress than others. Where stress becomes harmful is when people feel that they are not able to release their emotions, leading to a build-up which can affect us in a physical or psychological way. We may also view life in a more negative way.
Some signs to look out for are:
Hypnotherapy can be an effective way of helping a person to deal with stress. In most cases, a hypnotherapist is able to help a client recognise the trigger that causes the stress, teach methods of relaxation, and introduce strategies that will support clients in dealing with stressful situations.
It may be the case that some clients have more deep-rooted or long-term issues that are causing stress, which need to be addressed during hypnotherapy.