Counteracting Stress in your Everyday Life

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to reduce stress within our everyday life at work and at home. Some of them can be done by yourself, and with a little practice, they can be instrumental in helping you avoid any long term detrimental effects that might have otherwise have occurred from your ongoing stressful situations.
The key point to understand in the relief of stress is that relaxation is incompatible with the stress state, so that if you can generate relaxation in some way, you will automatically be countering the stress in your life.

Meditation is one of the key ways people can reduce stress and introduce a feeling of complete mental and physical relaxation into their lives, one which can continue to provide help in dealing with any stress experienced throughout the rest of the day. I want to say here, that, because of meditation’s connection with Eastern religions, many of you might feel that it is not in consonance with the life you are leading. The truth is, meditation is a valuable technique that is not of itself religious, but has simply been incorporated by various religions for their own purposes. It can be utilized in a completely non-religious way to achieve deep states of relaxation and great stress relief. Those suffering from serious stress should not hesitate to make use of this valuable resource for reducing stress in their lives.

The basic form of meditation is simply to focus your attention on one simple and relaxing thing. This relaxes the mind and keeps it from dwelling on stress generating thought. As a result, the mind gets relief and with the mind more relaxed the body follows. To do it, you should be in a comfortable position. Some people meditate in the so-called lotus position, you may have seen on yoga magazines. But this is not at all necessary. You can just sit in a comfortable chair or lie on your bed. You may chose to meditate for any period, but 20 to 30 minutes would be a good period to aim for. If you are worried you will lose track of time, you can use an alarm, preferably a gentle one, like a radio with music coming on or another softer choice of sound.
Once you are ready, you can choose how to concentrate your attention. One very popular way is to concentrate on your breathing. Pay attention to your slow breathing in and out. Here I want to point out, controlling your breathing, all by itself, can be a powerful influence on your stress and significantly reduce it. When we are experiencing stress we breathe shallow breathes up in our chest. When we are relaxed, we breathe slow, deep breaths by expanding our lower stomach area. Just by imitating the physiological states of relaxation, by controlling our breathing consciously to be like that when we experience relaxation, we induce our minds and bodies to experience relaxation. Thus, we can note here that breathing to promote relaxation, even without the act of meditation is a valuable resource for reducing stress. The beauty of using breathing for this purpose is that it can be employed wherever you are, even at work. You can just stop for a few moments and take a few slow, deep diaphragm breaths and you will be able to counter any stress you experiencing.
Another way you can meditate is to concentrate on looking at an object. You can do this with anything, but it can be more relaxing to choose a flower or an attractive piece of glass or pottery or a candle with a flame. Observe it carefully, noticing everything about it. Of course, this can be enhanced by breathing in the relaxing way at the same time, even if your attention is no longer on your breathing, but on the object. Some people can become very relaxed by focusing on a sound repeated silently in your mind. It can be short word; it can be a number, like one, or the word “easy,”, or the traditional sound used in religion, Om. You can even make up your own! Today many people have sound machines, and some of you may prefer to sit quietly with all your attention on listening to the sounds generated by your machine. You could listen to waves on a beach, or crickets at night, or a downpour in a rainforest. Many people get relaxed from just listening to such sounds without using them for meditation. There are also many meditative recordings designed to initiate relaxation in the person. Perhaps one of these will prove to your liking and be very beneficial to you. While you are meditating in the way you have chosen, some other thoughts may enter your mind, do not fight them. Just gently turn your attention back to what you were focusing on.

Using imagery is another way to relieve stress that people find extremely pleasant. You can either use a remembered peaceful, relaxing scene you have experienced or make up an entirely imaginary one. As you create this image in your mind, make sure to involve as many senses as possible. For example, an image of a beach should involve seeing the waves and the blue sky with some lovely clouds in it; while at the same time, you should be hearing the sounds of the waves and smelling the water and sand, feeling the warmth of the sun and a light breeze on your body.
Other imagery might involve seeing stress flow out of your body, or things you are concerned with moving away from you into the distance. You can also see waves of relaxation flowing down over your body and these waves can move in time with your breathing. You should feel how the relaxation is moving down your body with each new wave. Once you have done this regularly, wherever you are, you can stop for a while, even for just a minute, or as long as you are able, and imagine you are in your relaxing place or the waves of relaxation are flowing over you while you breathe in the relaxation-inducing manner.
You can also do deep breathing while imagining the stress flowing out of your body with each breathe you exhale.
Another very effective way to reduce stress is by practicing muscle relaxation. Remember that relaxation is incompatible with the stress state, so that if you can generate relaxation in some way, you will automatically be countering the stress in your life. Relaxed muscles are the opposite of the tensed muscles experienced with stress. If you learn to relax your muscles, you will be in a more relaxed state and your stress will be reduced.
Many people use what is called, progressive muscle relaxation. You should consult with your doctor before using this method if you have back problems or muscle spasms, or any other condition you think might lead to injury from this program. Starting either from the top part of your body or at your feet, you tighten then relax each set of muscles. For example, you might tighten your fists and hold this for about five seconds, fully experiencing the tenseness of the muscles used. Then you release this contraction and completely relax the muscles. Breathe out as you do so. It is important to focus your attention on the different feelings of tension and total relaxation. Take your time to fully experience the feelings of relaxation in the muscles. You can repeat doing this with each muscle group, feeling deeper relaxation each time as you release the contraction. Be careful when you contract the muscles in your feet and your back; do this deliberately, but gently and carefully. Practice throughout your body for awhile, then you are ready for the next stage. Now you will tense all the muscles of your body at once and then release them, while saying a word, like “relax” or a phrase, like “let go,” out loud or silently in your mind. Make sure you keep breathing in a relaxing manner as you are doing all these exercises. Never hold your breath. If practiced regularly, you can reach a point where all you have to do is feel in your body where you are experiencing muscle tension, think of that muscle group in your mind, say that word or phrase, and while you are in that stressful situation, you will experience relaxation.
Exercise is another very effective way to relieve stress. It releases tension in the muscles, which leads to a state of relaxation when completed. It improves blood flow to your brain and throughout your body to bring more nutrients and oxygen to these areas and remove toxins and other waste products from them too. In addition, a body in better physical condition is better able to deal with the actual physiological stresses created by being in stress creating situations. Exercising results in an improved mood. This may result from physiological changes within your body, but there is another reason as well. While you are exercising, especially if you are doing some sport, you are focusing on other things rather then the concerns which were causing you stress. Exercise will also help you to sleep soundly, and getting enough healthy sleep is an important part of combating stress. You should examine your sleep habits and make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. Many people do not get enough sleep and this contributes to the stress they experience trying to cope with things during their waking life. If you are one of the individuals who do not get plentiful sleep, you should seriously consider rearranging your life to get more sleep. Make sure you consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
There are some forms of exercise that combine meditation, breathing and physical movement. For example, you might wish to try Tai Chi or Yoga.

Remember, the best stress reduction system is the one that works for you and leads to less stress and more relaxation. Often people can improve their overall results by just adding more pleasant enjoyable moments during the day. Listening to your favorite music or reading a good book are some things you may have neglected to include in your life recently. Taking the time to enjoy good food, and taking a brisk walk can all add up to less stress and a more enjoyable relaxing existence. A lot of little things can add up and change the tone of your life toward the more positive. One of these things, often overlooked, is to include more humor in your life. This might include seeing more comedies in the movies, and amusing shows on TV, for example, going to the Comedy Channel regularly, or reading your favorite comedian’s latest book. It is now accepted that humor and laughter can significantly lower stress and have very positive mental and physiological effects on your health.

You must experiment and see what works best for you. Often it may actually be a combination of things that will best lead to you a less stressful, more relaxing and enjoyable life.

Understanding and Managing Stress

Stress is destructive to health and relationships. Stress is experienced when a person feels demands and expectations that exceed perceived available resources. Resources may relate to time, money, skill, tools, etc. The perception of the imbalance between the demands and resources and potential future adverse consequences for failing to meet the demand or expectation does not have to be correct in order for the situation to cause stress. That is, false understandings or beliefs can cause significant stress. Therefore any event or thought that causes a person to perceive a threatening demand is a potential source of stress.
It is true that on this planet there are situations that need to be reacted to and in the absence of stress, our species would never have survived. Accordingly, a positive aspect of stress is that it alerts you to a threat and provides you with increased levels of energy and motivation to help in coping with the threat. However mishandled stress or too much stress causes strain and can be devastating for you.
The negative effects of stress are numerous and perhaps we don’t even know them all. However, they include fatigue, irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, a lower immune system, a variety of serious physical health problems, insomnia, depression, anxiety, loss of personal relationships, over eating and drug and alcohol abuse.
There is no one way to deal with stress. Stress may be reduced, eliminated or managed by addressing one or more of the underlying components of stress. For example you might reduce demands by planning ahead, increasing available resources, just saying “no”, finding ways to increase efficiency. Or, you might reduce the stress emotions by taking a break from the stressful situation, relaxing, exercising, getting a massage, taking a vacation. Or, you might eliminate or mitigate the impact of the consequences of failing to meet the demand by preparing for the consequences (e.g. having a savings account or buying insurance), changing your priorities (so what if the car doesn’t get washed?), accepting what can’t be changed, putting energy towards improving the situation.
You need to have the correct perspective concerning the demands you face. You need to be aware of your capabilities, resources, and the real consequences of failing to meet a demand. You need to see things accurately without distortions. Believing something is terrible when it is only just unpleasant can cause unnecessary stress.
There is scientific evidence that suggests that the experience of stress in the past magnifies how you react to stress in the future because stress actually alters your body and your brain. You can become sensitive to stress and then even the smallest stressor can invoke reactions in your brain and body that cause your brain to treat a small incident as a life threatening event. Because some stress is requisite for humans, your body is designed to provide an appropriate reaction to stress depending on the degree of the threat. However, when you become sensitive to stress due to earlier stress experiences, your body’s response that is designed for life threatening events is activated by ordinary trials and tribulations of life such that you respond inappropriately (in other words, overreact). This sensitivity to stress may begin during childhood. It is likely that the impact is greater when it is initiated during childhood.
It is of extreme importance that you become aware of your body so that you can sense when it is getting stressed and either reduce the stressors (i.e. demands perceived to exceed resources and perceived negative consequences) or take time for meditation, yoga, exercise, gardening, reading, writing, listening to music, going for a walk. Also, the knowledge about being sensitive to stress due to past stress experiences (i.e. the life-death reaction to inconsequential matters) is helpful, if it applies to you, because you can use logic and rational thoughts to understand why you’re reacting as you are and to correct this behaviour if you feel yourself overreacting to stressors.
You are vulnerable to stress and will experience stress; but you do not have to be its victim. You have the ability to control stress and what you permit it to do to you.

The Impact Of Stress

Acute or chronic stress can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional or physical wellbeing and can be a significant contributor to mental illness.
Stress is a term that refers to the sum of the physical, mental, and emotional strains or tensions on a person. A stressor is defined as a stimulus or event that provokes a stress response in an organism. Stressors can be categorized as acute or chronic.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) defines a psychosocial stressor as “any life event or life change that may be associated temporally (and perhaps causally) with the onset, occurrence, or exacerbation (worsening) of a mental disorder”.
Hans Selye (1907-1982), a Canadian researcher was a pioneer in studying stress. Selye defined stress, in essence, as the rate of wear and tear on the body. He observed that an increasing number of people, particularly in the developed countries, die of so-called diseases of civilization, or degenerative diseases primarily caused by stress.
In humans, the biochemical response to acute stress is known as the “fight-or-flight”activation of a section of the brain called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system, or HPA activates the release of steroid hormones which include cortisol, the primary stress hormone in humans. Neurotransmitters known as catecholamines are released which have three effects:
1. They activate the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic system that triggers an emotional response to fear.
2. They signal the hippocampus, another part of the limbic system, to store the emotional experience in longterm memory.
3. They suppress activity in parts of the brain associated with short-term memory, concentration, and rational thinking. This suppression allows a human to react quickly to a stressful situation, but it also lowers the ability to deal with complex social or intellectual tasks that may be part of the situation.
The body’s physical reaction to stress can cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise, the person breathes more rapidly allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen. Blood flow to the muscles, lungs, and brain may increase by 300-400%. The spleen releases more blood cells which increases the blood’s ability to transport oxygen. The immune system redirects white blood cells to the skin, bone marrow and lymph nodes; these are areas where injury or infection is most likely to occur. In chronic stress, the organ systems of the body do not have the opportunity to return fully to normal levels. Different organs become under or over activated on a long-term basis. In time, these abnormal levels of activity can damage an organ or organ system. Stress has negative effects on the Cardiovascular system, the Gastrointestinal system, the Reproductive system and the Musculoskeletal system.
The physical effects of stress on the brain include interference with memory and learning. Acute stress interferes with short-term memory, although this effect goes away after the stress is resolved. People who are under severe stress become unable to concentrate; they may become physically inefficient, clumsy, and accident-prone. Chronic stress is a reaction to a situation that is stressful but ongoing. Chronic stress affects the human immune system and increases a person’s risk of getting an infectious illness. Several research studies have shown that people under chronic stress have lower than normal white blood cell counts and are more vulnerable to colds and influenza.
There are 2 major categories of mental disorders directly related to stress-the-post-traumatic syndromes and adjustment disorders. Stress is, however, also closely associated with depression, and can worsen the symptoms of most other disorders. Post traumatic stress disorder and Acute Stress Disorder are defined by their temporal connection to a traumatic event in the individual’s life.
Stress is related to substance abuse disorders in that chronic stress frequently leads people to self-medicate with drugs of abuse or alcohol. Substance abuse disorders are associated with a specific type of strategy for dealing with stress called emotion-focused coping. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines adjustment disorders as psychological responses to stressors that are excessive given the nature of the stressor; or result in impairment of the person’s academic, occupational, or social functioning. The causes of stress may include any event or situation that a person considers a threat to his or her resources or coping strategies.
Acute stress is defined as a reaction to something perceived as an immediate threat. Acute stress reactions can occur to a falsely perceived danger as well as to a genuine threat; they can also occur in response to memories. Social isolation and loneliness can produce chronic stress. A study done in Norway between 1987 and 1993 found that social support networks mad a significant difference in lowering the impact of both acute and chronic stress on mental health.
Another stress factor is sleep deprivation. Many people get only six or less hours of sleep each night even though the National Sleep Foundation estimates that most adults need 8-8-1/2 hours per night for good health. Fatigue due to sleep deprivation causes additional stress.
Lastly, economic trends have produced a “Winner-take-all” economy in which the gap between the well-off and the average family is constantly widening. Socioeconomic status (SES) affects health in a number of ways. Persons of higher SES can afford better health care, are less likely to suffer from exposure to environmental toxins, and generally lead healthier lifestyles. In addition, chronic stress associated with low SES appears to increase morbidity and mortality among persons in these income groups.

How Does Stress Affect Health?

Stress is a psychological and physiological response to events that upset our personal balance in some way. When faced with a threat, whether to our physical safety or emotional equilibrium, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” response. We all know what this stress response feels like: hearts pounding in the chest, muscles tensing up breathe coming faster, every sense on red alert.

Chronic stress can be the result of a host of irritating hassles or a long-term life condition, such as a difficult job situation or living with a chronic disease. In people who have higher levels of chronic stress, the stress response lasts longer. Over time, chronic stress can have an effect on: The immune system. Under stress, the body becomes more vulnerable to illnesses, from colds and minor infections to major diseases. If you have a chronic illness such as AIDS, stress can make the symptoms worse.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress — a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Stress can cause headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorder, allergies, insomnia, backaches, frequent cold and fatigue to diseases such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart ailments and even cancer. In fact, Sanjay Chugh, a leading Indian psychologist, says that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of adults visit primary care physicians for stress-related problems. Scary enough.

But where do we err?

Stress is difficult for scientists to define because it is a highly subjective phenomenon that differs for each of us. Things that are distressful for some individuals can be pleasurable for others. We also respond to stress differently. Some people blush, some eat more while others grow pale or eat less.

Also, the effects of stress include the body’s tendency to break down white blood cells when it is stressed. Unfortunately, white blood cells are used to fight disease and breaking them down cause immune system depletion and make people more vulnerable to disease. Thus, if you do not slow down, your body will be slowed down for you with a cold or a bout of the flu. This explains why many people tend to become ill when they are under pressure for long periods of time.

You have some control over your reaction to stress. You can learn to relax and reverse the body’s hormonal response to stress. And, of course, you may be able to change your life to relieve sources of stress.

Something else that affects people’s responses to stress is coping style. Coping style is how a person deals with stress. For example, some people have a problem-solving attitude. They say to them, “What can I do about this problem?” They try to change their situation to get rid of the stress.

Stress Balls and Their Benefits

A stress ball can be defined as a malleable toy. It is about seven centimeters in diameter. It is squeezed in the hand and then manipulated by the fingers. This exercise helps a lot in relieving stress as well as the muscle tension. This is also a good exercise for hand muscles.

Many types of stress balls are available on the market, these days. Some of them are available in the form of a closed-cell polyurethane foam rubber. This kind of stress ball is created by injecting liquid components of a foam into a mold. The chemical reaction that results forms bubbles of carbon dioxide and ultimately comes out in the form of a foam.

Stress ball recommended for physical therapy contain gel of various densities. The gel is placed inside a cloth or rubber skin. There is another type of stress ball that is made via using a thin rubber membrane that surrounds a fine powder.

A stress ball can also be made at home via filling a balloon with baking soda. Some balls look like foot bag and are marketed and used widely as stress balls.

The name ‘Stress ball’ may indicate that the shape of this substance is spherical. However, these are available in various amusing shapes, spot printed or screen printed. Some are also available with corporate logos. These make great gifts to clients and employees.

Stress balls can play a major role in decreasing stress injuries. Due to the shape these balls are available in; they are known as stress relievers and also make a great corporate promotional product.

Stress balls are wonderful options to relieve stress. Whenever the hand is turned in to a fist, you would notice certain muscle tension. This muscle tension may also be experienced if you don’t have anything in the palm. As soon as the grip of fist is released the muscle tension eases.

The cycle of creating a muscular tension and thereafter releasing it is the basic principle that works with stress balls.

It is better to have something in hand instead of making an empty fist and releasing it frequently. These days, stress balls are very famous with computer professionals.

You can also make your own stress balls at home. The activity will be fun and help you to reduce a lot of stress.

Balloon Stress Ball – Instruction

i) Blow a small thick balloon half way.

ii) Pinch and hold the balloon tight about one inch from the hole.

iii) Place a small funnel inside the opening of the balloon.

iv) Now pour cornstarch in to the funnel.

v) Now gradually release the top of the balloon so that the cornstarch slides in to balloon

vi) Keep adding cornstarch until the balloon is 3 inches in diameter.

vii) Now tighter the end of the balloon and let the air come out slowly.

viii) Tie the balloon tightly near the cornstarch.

A stress ball is a great tool to manage stress. Buy one for yourself now or make one on your own.

Stress at Work and Its Symptoms

Stress at work is not a new phenomenon. These days, in modern lifestyles, the nature of work has gone really stressful. One needs to do a lot in order to stay ahead in competition.

Most people don’t even realize that they are undergoing a lot of stress in their life. They don’t have time to realize that they are under stress.

Work stress is a type of chronic disease. It is caused by different conditions in the workplace that negatively affect an individual’s performance. This also affect overall well being of body and mind of the person.

In certain cases, job stress can even be quite disabling. According to a study, one must go for psychiatric consultation. This will let him or her validate the reason and degree of stress related to work.

Sometimes working on a project also causes a lot of stress. The early stages of job stress are not much irritating as it can enhance the performance due to the efforts put in to the whole thing.

However, in case, the condition goes unchecked the body faces stress on a regular basis the body tends to get affected adversely.

If you want to know whether you suffer from work stress, here are certain symptoms you need to look for:

• Insomnia or sleeplessness

• Family conflict or constant dispute

• Lack of mental concentration

• Anxiety; Depression; Extreme anger

• Frustration

• Physical illnesses such as migraine, stomach problems, headaches, heart disease and back problems.

• Substance abuse

• Absenteeism on a frequent basis without any regular reason

There are several causes of work stress. Here are some of the visible ones that would let you know how to handle work stress.

1) Insecurity at work place

These days, one requires to do a lot at job in order to survive the tough competition. There is a lot of reorganization, mergers, takeovers, and downsizing. All these situations lead to stress for employees. They need to work hard to survive and let their organization survive the competition.

2) Demand for performance

Today, employers, managers and team leaders keep unrealistic expectations and set unrealistic goals for their employees. This results in unhealthy and unreasonable pressures on the employee.

Now, this can be really tremendous and the person may suffer from serious depression. Big targets make employees work for long hours and physically stressed out. They may also require to travel a lot and too much time away from family results in emotional stress.

3) Balance

For woman, it becomes really difficult to strike a balance between work and home. After spending stressful work hours, it becomes difficult to work at home. There may be situations where women face sexual harassment at work place.

It is easy to cope up with stress at work if you want to. You can do a lot of things to keep yourself away from stress. Here are some tips:

• Don’t give in to alcohol

• Don’t cheat on your spouse

• Develop positive attitude towards stress

• Find time to refresh yourself whenever you get time

• Take a short leave and enjoy with your family.

Stress and Anxiety – Use Hypnotherapy to Overcome Them and Find Peace

Now more than ever, scientific surveys are attesting the primary role played by stress in triggering or aggravating different physical and emotional afflictions. In the June 6, 1983 issue of Time Magazine, the cover story labeled stress “The Epidemic of the Eighties.” It also said that stress is our leading health problem. Indeed one has to recognize that our world has become a lot more complicated and stressful in the last two decades since that article was written.

Numerous surveys indicate that almost everybody is under the impression of being subject to a lot of stress. Authorities in the field estimate that between 75 and 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians somehow have to do with stress.

Most people report their stress is primarily due to their job. And stress levels have also grown in children and the elderly population because of several reasons including: Peer pressures that often push people to everything from smoking to alcoholism and drug abuse; the wearing away of religion and family values; increased crime rates; threats to personal safety; and last but not least social isolation and loneliness.

Stress can cause and aggravate conditions such as diabetes, ulcers, low back and neck pain, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. This is due to the ever growing sympathetic nervous system activity along with a high level of cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones. Chronic stress is often associated with lower immune system resistance. Stress can contribute to anxiety, depression, and its various effects on the body’s organs.

The following definition for “stress” can be found in the American Heritage Dictionary:

“To subject to physical or mental pressure, tension, or strain”

The following is the definition of “tension” from the same dictionary:

“Mental, emotional, or nervous strain”

The following definition is given for “anxiety”:

“A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties”

And the following is the definition of “depression”:

“The condition of feeling sad or despondent”

The following is the definition of “clinical depression”:

“A psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death.”

One thing is for sure, our mind is the first source of our feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Put differently, what we think about, and our attitudes and points of view about our experiences create our feelings. That way, if we can learn how to change our thoughts, attitudes, and points of view, we can get rid of our feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression and change them for a more positive state of being.

Since the beginning of time, people have tried to find methods that would allow them to eliminate stress. With the pharmaceutical industry there seems to be a drug for everything. And to that end the industry has created a large line of sedatives from Valium to Xanax. If you choose to utilize drugs for relief, please be sure to pay attention to the fine print and learn about the side effects, which commonly include addiction and dependency. Unfortunately, these types of drugs aim at treating the symptoms, but not the cause. So as soon as one stops ingesting them, the symptoms can come back.

A finer method to get rid of tension, stress, anxiety, and depression is to work on the root cause, which as I said previously, is generally our thought processes. There is the good news. Hypnosis is all about relaxation. The AMA accepted hypnosis in 1958 as an effective way to cure stress or stress related symptoms. Moreover unlike anxiolytics, there are totally no negative side effects.

When you are in hypnosis, you are in the Alpha level of consciousness. It’s the daydream like temporary psychological state that we experience as we’re just about to fall asleep at night. And we experience it once again when we awaken again. There are several different ways that will help us guide ourselves into this state of tranquility, from progressive relaxation to visual imagery to listening to hypnosis CD’s.

Once we access a hypnotic state, we can communicate with our unconscious mind, which is the seat of our feelings. And it becomes easier to acknowledge new points of view and ideas that will help us to dissipate anxiety, or even avoid it completely.

NLP, which is a recent sort of hypnotherapy, offers numerous excellent methods for getting rid of stress. Perhaps the technique that works best is called the “swish” pattern – or the “flash” pattern. When you use this method, your unconscious will automatically use negative, stress producing mental images, as triggers for tranquilizing mental images. Otherwise stated, your stressors will automatically cause relaxation!


Tension, stress, anxiety, and depression can be caused by our thoughts. So by changing our attitude and the way we feel about our situation and what we’ve experienced, we can dissipate these feelings at the source. Hypnosis and NLP are natural tools that we can use to help us change our attitude and point of view to swiftly dissipate the root cause of our negative feelings.

Anxiety! New Approaches To treatment So You Can Start Living Again

Many people live with stress and anxiety based conditions for years with no relief. Maybe they have tried medications which really only camouflage the symptoms and dont really manage to get to the root of the problem. Some have tried the traditional therapies which will work to some extent. Techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy can work quite well with
some people but there remains a high relapse rate for these approaches. What anxiety and stress sufferers require is a permanent and lasting solutions to these debilitating states of mind that they find themselves having to endure on a sometimes daily basis.
Lets look at some other approaches that although are not mainstream yet are certainly worthy of attention according to reports as they are giving large amounts of people freedom and real relief from their anxiety without the fear of relapse that the traditional methods often do.
The first one that comes to mind is the EMDR method made famous by Francine Shapiro. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing although overly technical sounding in name, integrates elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an external stimulus, usually a finger moving in front of the line of vision, to break up recurring patterns of anxiety. Recent research on EMDR shows
positive benefits and fast removal of anxiety related issues.
The second technique is known as Thought Field Therapy but a revised version of this approach is also known as The Emotional Freedom Technique .It was originally discovered and utilized in treatment by the American clinical psychologist Roger Callahan Ph.D, I can personally vouch for this method because it took my fear of public speaking away in two rounds of treatment.
It actually uses acupuncture points on the body which are tapped (by yourself) with your fingers in specified sequence for a couple of minutes until you try to get the anxious feelings back but you cannot because they have simply vanished. It is actually quite miraculous and is presently undergoing research because it is such a simple method to employ and very cost effective and the client can take the skill away and do it on themselves with all manner of problems anytime they wish.
Another method that is receiving a lot of attention recently is the method devised by Charles Linden, himself an chronic anxiety sufferer, who has a scientifically based technique that allows you to reset the amygdala which is a small gland in the brain that seems to perpetuate the anxiety we have. An American National Mental Health institute even endorsed many of
his findings concerning how anxiety disorders start and then become magnified. His method is known simply as The Linden Method and is performed at home at the clients leisure.
Of course anxiety and stress sufferers should also aim to employ a daily relaxation regime to calm over-arousal whilst they attend to these other treatments. A regular regime of stress management via relaxation works wonders to refresh our nervous system. The technique that I use goes beyond the traditional methods that only take you to a superficial level of calmness and actually involves switching off the brain stress centers that are responsible for causing stress in the first place.
The technique is like an internal massage for your brain and very quickly lowers your arousal in a simple but profound manner.

Social Anxiety Can Be Beaten

I thought I was just shy for years and years, no really I did. I never thought that feeling uncomfortable in new social situations was any more than that I would get tense and start to feel agitated every time I had to meet new people. Later on when I got married, yes I actually met someone who understood, it was quite daunting when my wife would return from work stating that so and so had invited us around to have dinner with them. God, it was all very horrible. I was a nurse for many years and never felt this way when I was working, strange though that must sound. However eventually I started training as a counselor and therapist and had to undergo some therapy sessions myself. I finally decided to face up to this issue and revealed it to my therapist who was extremely understanding and told me it was much more common than you might think. In fact meeting new people is actually just behind fear of public speaking as a concern for many.
Eventually we utilized some techniques that to my surprise actually took the nervousness away, I mean completely. For the first time in years I felt free to
be myself and let go and be much more amenable in social situations. What were those methods some of you well may ask. Lets have a look.
Some years ago a new psychological technique emerged called Thought Field Therapy, it was created bu a clinical psychologist, Roger Callahan.
His new technique involved tapping with your fingers on certain acupuncture or energy points and doing a particular sequence whilst thinking of the issue that is unresolved. Imagine the surprise of the majority of people when deepest seated phobias, fears, anxieties of all kinds and even long term post-traumatic stress disorder vanish, and im not joking here or hyping this up. A friend of mine had terrible stage fright (similar to public speaking fear I guess) and he tried this method and in three rounds of tapping his stage fright left town and hasn’t returned. It is now being researched within psychological circles and of course the initial reaction of the psychological and psychiatric community was disbelief.
However, it does remind me of Francine Shapiros EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) technique which when it first became accessible to the public was scoffed at by the medical establishment worldwide. Now though it has had some very good research which shows that it is slightly better than traditional cognitive-behavioral treatment and is faster and more cost effective as a modality.
So if you want to try something new look up Thought Field Therapy or Emotional Freedom Technique which some practitioners use. instead. Look it never hurts to try something new, look it up on google to see if there is a practitioner near you, it might just work wonders for you, it did for me.

What is Stress

Be specific as to what is the definition of stress is almost impossible, as very complex to explain. Not all stress is bad for us – whatever many people may think

It is considered both normal and healthy to experience certain levels of stress in our lives. However, it is when stress starts to take control of our lives, or we feel as if we have become a different person, is when stress becomes both unhealthy and maybe even dangerous.

Basically the definition of stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our body’s response to pressure inflicted on it from the outside world. This strain varies in terms of severity and impact from person to person, as each person handles stress differently and responds differently to separate stressors – stressors being the factors in our lives that cause us the stress.

Our bodies respond in different ways to different types of stress. When we feel stressed our bodies releases chemicals into the blood stream. Sometimes this has a positive effect, and provides us with more strength or energy. However, the bad stress can have the opposite effect, and the chemicals released can cause us to feel sad or depressed.

Causes Of Stress

There can be a variety of causes to stress and it all depends on what is happening in our life, and how we deal with it on a daily basis. For example, anyone working in a high powered environment in a fast-paced job where they find themselves constantly annoyed and frustrated will find themselves feeling a lot more stress than someone doing a job they enjoy, able to work at their own pace.

It is also important to realize that there are a few different specific definitions of stress, namely: survival stress, internal stress, environmental stress, and then the stress caused by fatigue and overwork.

Internal stress is the most commonly experienced form of stress, and is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. It basically occurs when people make themselves ill by being stressed out, when they worry about things that they cannot control or put themselves in situations that they know are just going to end up causing themselves even more stress.


Regardless of how severe your stress is or how long you have been trying to deal with it you should consult a doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms you think may have been caused by this stress. He or she will be able to recommend a course of treatment, though this may involve you having to take some sort of medicine. However, if you would prefer to treat your stress using more natural methods there are several helpful websites to be found online.