Stress Management, Anxiety Reduction

Surprisingly most of us don’t know we  have the ability to manage stress and reduce anxiety. We are sometimes unaware that we can actually relax our bodies or  minds in response to stress  but we aren’t always aware that we are stressed or anxious.

Stress & anxiety can creep up over time as well as being a response to a traumatic event and in the current financial climate these can feel more overwhelming.

But why suffer? There is a reason for underlying anxiety and I use a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) with Neuro Linguistic Programming ( NLP) and Hypnotherapy to help you discover and recognise the hidden causes of anxiety so you can get on with the business of living. I will also give you strategies to enable you to feel relaxed when you find yourself in new stressful situations.

We will identify your stressors, together with any significant life events and changes  to understand the types of stress which are causing your problems, i.e. emotional, illness, environmental, hormonal, allergic or burn-out.

We’ll find out what your current coping strategies & support networks are &  identify the control you think you have & how you cope when you don’t feel in control.

What then? We’ll  develop appropriate strategies and explore the best techniques to enable YOU to be personally aware, recognising when negative or nervous thinking starts (which lead to more stress). This is vital so that you can learn & employ new thinking patterns which eventually take over and becoming your newer, much healthier, habit.

Some other techniques I may draw on help you manage your stress include: hypnotherapy & creative visualisation, (core energy management) to release endorphins, the Alexander Technique (integrating physical aspects with the emotions), mindfulness ( slowing down to carry out tasks one at a time, and being very aware of each movement or thought )  Reiki or deep breathing exercises & relaxation (leading to improving sleep).

Art  and play  are other hugely helpful ways to become mindful and to reduce stress. Sometimes this is a lot easier with someone else to guide you with compassion and skill as it is hard to know where to start if you are feeling stressed and under pressure.  I highly recommend my Associate Bee Operanto at Indigo Studio in Swindon where she will either come to your house or you can visit her and just be in the moment, playing with art materials in a mindful and uncritical way. A couple of hour’s holiday for your mind as and when you need it.

But what is Stress? I think the following is the best definition:

“The emotional, physiological & psychological effects caused by a build up of either internally or externally generated mental pressure”.

There are such a wide range of reasons for the various levels of pressure felt by different character types & each one reacts differently to the same set of stimulants. These may be the result of things that have happened in the past (often a result of childhood influences).

There is a huge volume of litigation against many businesses due to stress related problems – or to be more accurate “distress” – which is the overloading of peoples’ physical, emotional and mental systems.

Most good business managers realise that their work-forces are their most valuable assets & an increasing number understand that Stress Management is essential to a happy, successful and enjoyable lifestyle.

Some people may find a need for a more definite spiritual dimension in their life, either religious or by simply “doing things they recognise make them feel more alive”.

It can also help to quit smoking & reduce caffeine intake as these are both major stressors. I may also refer you to a recommended aromatherapist for massage or reflexology, to a nutritionist or a personal trainer for increasing your fitness levels.

Stress & anxiety can also be caused by being naturally passive and shy, finding it difficult to say “no” which make you feel as though you’ve been taken advantage of. The result is inner conflict & unhappiness.

In this case I can help you to increase your sense of worth and self belief and learn  assertiveness techniques and how to apply them so that you can take control back into your life. I find that hypnotherapy helps enormously  to directly increase your sense of self esteem.

It may be that your authentic self is not being expressed. You can apparently function perfectly on the surface but deep down be stressed because of other peoples’ values which conflict with your core-self. We would explore and work through the inner conflict together in a safe and non-judgemental atmosphere.

Most importantly I help you learn to give yourself permission to take “time out”, working with you to recognise, prioritise & take care of your own needs.

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote which may be of help:

“Do YOU want to reduce YOUR stress and anxiety?

If so read on to understand why it’s there and how we can learn to manage it so YOU CAN feel better and live a more balanced life.

Stress comes from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry or anxious. Different people feel different amounts of stress in the same situations but it’s often caused by your reaction to too much change- too fast. Finding the right technique(s) for YOU personally is critical.

Stress isn’t just a fact of life; something to be endured stoically. Unless we do something about it, its effect can creep up unnoticed, while we remain unaware that many of the problems we face in life are simply the result of our habitual responses to pressure.

Most of us now live to work rather than working to live and we’re also frightened of redundancy and more in debt than ever before. On top of the unavoidable & unpredictable stresses such as illness, bereavement and disability, there are all the frustrations of the modern world (supposed to free up time) like personal computers & mobile phones which have actually increased the pace of life and often the associated stress too.

However, not all stress is unpleasant. Many people thrive on the buzz they get from meeting exciting new challenges and they may only work effectively if they are nearing a deadline. Some people can rise to a big occasion and surpass themselves, the adrenalin rush they experience is addictive and they feel stress is positive & motivating & that life without it would be dull and boring.

In the hypnotherapy and counselling environment, an atmosphere of openness & trust is created and you can vent your feelings freely. It’s important that you feel the therapist completely understands you, your complex issues and the way you feel about them. These feelings need to be expressed otherwise they build up into chronic stress causing physical and emotional problems.

When stressed, the body releases the stress hormones cortisole, adrenalin & noradrenalin, damaging the body. These are responsible for raising blood pressure, heart attacks, depressing the immune system and increasing cholesterol, leading to migraines, peptic ulcers, asthma, depression, colitis, stroke and more. The neurotransmitters; dopamine, serotonin and (again) noradrenalin ( this time the hormone acting as a neurotransmitter) need to be maintained at a healthy level for us to function; any imbalance can drastically affect sleep patterns & our ability to enjoy life.

Give me a call on 01793 539991 or email me to arrange a free consultation.

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Updated 2/2/16