Local Hypnotist Shares 10 Stress Reduction Tips
For World Mental Health Day
Posted by HypnoticTherapeutics
Barrington Patch: October 10, 2012
For nearly everyone, stress is increasingly becoming a major health issue. Early stress researchers found that regardless of the environmental stressor, a generalized physiological response was activated commonly referred to as the "fight or flight," or stress response. When an individual encounters a stressor, the body part that first notes the stimulus passes the signal to the brain. The message passes through to the hypothalamus and thalamus. When the hypothalamus experiences the stressor signal, it simultaneously activates the two major stress pathways: the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system. When the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is activated by the hypothalamus, involuntary functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and body fluid regulation are affected. At the same time, the pituitary gland is stimulated, which in turn orders the release of several chemical hormones. The chemical cortisol provides fuel for the "fight or flight" response by increasing blood sugar so that there is energy for action. Aldosterone increases the blood pressure. Epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine are also produced, along with thyroxine.
Some of the health problems that appear to be caused or exacerbated by stress include:
* Spastic colon
* Irritable bowel syndrome
* Colds and sinus infections
* Bladder infections
* High blood pressure
* Slow or improper healing resulting from injury
* Heart disease,
* And other conditions…
In addition to the health considerations listed above, stress in most cases can prevent a person from performing to the best of their capabilities. The ramifications to deteriorating health and performance is often detrimental in the work environment, school, and at home.
Don’t worry! There is good news. Stress is controllable. Even chronic stress is reversible. There are various ways to keep stress under control. It is just a matter of a bit of commitment and time management while putting forth effort to incorporate some positive changes into your daily routine.
Here are the 10 stress reduction tips:
1. Life Happens. Accept that not all things that happen in life are in our direct control. It is important to learn to take things in stride, and make the best of whatever situation is occurring. A positive mental attitude and approach in life will help to keep those worrisome thoughts at bay.
2. Get Physical. Physical exercise (and sex) relieves stress. Regular physical activity is a great outlet for one's frustration, anger, and negative energy. If you are experiencing anger, frustration, negative thoughts and more, you are most likely under stress. Exercise is not a panacea. However, it can help to greatly reduce such feelings, emotions and thoughts. Keeping it all pent up inside will only cause more of the same and increase stress levels. Exercise is activity and it helps to burn off all the excess energy and contributes to feelings of calmness. Exercising releases a hormone called endorphins-which is known for promoting the feelings of euphoria and alleviating physical pain.3. Deep Breathing. Breathing is an easy stress reliever that has numerous benefits. A benefit for the body is oxygenating the blood to create more efficient processing for all vital organs. A benefit for the brain is oxygenation helps to stimulate the brain while also relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are easy and effective. It’s hard to find excuses not do daily breathing exercises. You don’t need fancy equipment; you don’t need to be in a certain place and at a certain time. You can do breathing exercises anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash. The key to proper breathing is deep, slow inhalations through the nose using the diaphragm (not the chest), and exhaling through the mouth.4. Meditation and Guided Imagery. Meditation builds on deep breathing, and takes it a step further. When you meditate, your brain wave functioning slows similar to sleep, but carries some added benefits you can’t achieve as well in any other state, including the release of certain hormones that promote health. Change of focus to relaxing and pleasant thoughts or even nothingness keeps your mind from working overtime or routing to negative thoughts which increases stress levels.It takes slightly more time to practice guided imagery. However, guided imagery is a great way to let go of stress and relax your body. Once learned, guided imagery is easy to use and becomes second nature. Many people find it easier to achieve than meditation. It is nearly always easier to focus on something, rather than on nothing. Guided imagery is simply taking your mind to places that you find relaxing and pleasing. It is much like taking a private and personal tour of a destination of choice and design. You can play natural sounds in the background as you practice, to promote a more immersive experience.5. Visualizations. Creating visuals is a process that builds on guided imagery. By imagining yourself achieving personal and professional goal and becoming healthier and more relaxed, doing well at tasks, and handling conflict in better ways you condition your mind, and your body to respond in better ways. What the mind can conceive, it can achieve. The mind cannot distinguish from what is real and what is imagined. Therefore, engaging visualizations in a positive manner and seeing yourself doing well on tasks, projects, and goals and so forth actually functions like physical practice, so you can improve your performance through visualizations as well!6. Self-Hypnosis. Self-hypnosis incorporates some of the features of guided imagery and visualizations, with the added benefit of enabling you to communicate directly or indirectly with your subconscious mind. Connecting with your subconscious and giving it directions can enhance abilities and create positive intended change. Since emotions, behaviors and habits are created, stored and most often controlled by the subconscious mind, making changes at the source helps to eliminate unwanted habits, feel less pain, and more effectively develop healthier habits and behaviors. When the subconscious mind is engaged it also becomes easier to find answers to questions that may not be clear while fully in a conscious state of mind! It takes some practice and training, but is well worth it.7. Alone Time. Being alone and experiencing stillness can help to create balance and centeredness. Often stress comes from being overwhelmed and worried which results because too many things are occurring simultaneously; not leaving any time for rest. People that put themselves in the position of constantly caring for others to the point of neglecting themselves are especially susceptible to this type of induced stress. The solution is to take some time off and do something special; it is okay to be pampered.8. Group Support. There are times when one's problems become too overwhelming. This is the time when the support of friends and family will make a positive and direct impact. Group support is vital for some people. Having someone to confide in helps to share and disperse issues and take the load they are carrying around off of their shoulders and their minds. Knowing that you have someone to turn to when nothing is going your way, helps to feel that the world is not stacked against you and knowing that goes a long away in battling stress and anxiety.9. Music. Music therapy has shown numerous health benefits. When dealing with stress, music can actually lower blood pressure, relax the body and calm the mind. There is no right or wrong type of music. Find the music that resonates with your desired way to relax. Use music in your daily life for effective stress management.10. Get Adequate Rest. Most of the western world suffers from stress that is created or magnified due to lack of adequate rest. Ideally and the preferred amount of sleep each night is approximately 8 hours. Sleep is the time when the body and the mind rests, restores and renews. Taking a 15 minute power nap during the day appears to help energize the body and create greater alertness of the mind.
Stress is conquerable. It is just a matter of making some simple changes in your lifestyle. Doing so will make all the difference and allow you to live a more stress free life. Strive for balance between rest, work, play and other daily activities and routines. Explore what feels best. Notice that by making small changes in your daily patterns, just how much better you feel throughout the day.
David A. Blender, PhD is a practicing clinical and medical hypnotherapist and Life Coach in Barrington, Illinois.
Dr. Blender, is a practicing hypnotherapist with Hypnotic Therapeutics, a clinical and medical hypnotherapy practice. Dr. Blender is dedicated to helping people overcome personal and professional limitations, and unwanted behavior patterns and habits. His passion is re-engineering the human potential. In addition to operating his clinical practice, he is an international board certified hypnosis trainer with specialty in conversational hypnosis. He has published many articles in several journals and online news publications.