We stress about the big things: economy; job security; divorce. We stress about the little things: being late for work; unexpected car repairs; the holiday season; public speaking. All can have a detrimental effect on a person: worn out, overwhelmed, unwell, stressed out.
Regardless of the causes, big or small, the resulting flood of chemicals in the body has the same negative effects. Left unchecked, it has been linked to serious illnesses such as heart disease and strokes. In fact it is estimated that ninety per cent of visits to physicians are the result of stress-related symptoms.
The release of these chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, into our systems is a natural part of our genetics. It is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response, a state of increased arousal which is triggered by stressful situations. In ancient man this could have meant attack by enemies or wild beasts and was necessary to provide the strength and energy to fight off the threat or to escape. The changes to the body caused by these chemicals include an increase in heart rate (to flood the muscles and brain with blood), faster breathing (again, to provide fuel for the muscles and brain), increased alertness and heightened senses. The increase of blood flow to the muscles and brain however, causes a decrease in blood flow to the vital organs such as kidneys, liver and the gastrointestinal system. The counterpart to the ‘fight or flight’ response is supposed to occur when the threat is no longer apparent. During this counter response the body flushes the arousal chemicals from the system and returns to normal relaxed functioning, The causes of stress for most people in the modern world, however, leave little room for either fighting or running away, however appealing these responses might seem at the time. This and the chronic nature of modern stress cause the chemicals and the resulting state of arousal to last well beyond what is healthy.
Since we cannot stop the world to get off, it is essential that we learn how to manage the stress in our lives. Hypnosis is a fast and effective method of stress reduction and management. Through hypnosis, we can lower the level of adrenaline and cortisol in our bodies, leaving us feeling calm, relaxed, healthy and vital, and allowing the proper conditions for the optimum functioning of the organs – essential for good mental and physical health. From this new perspective we are better able to focus our attention where it is most beneficial in our lives.