There are many definitions of stress and to understand what it is can help us understand how to deal with it. One definition is that it is the physical and mental ‘wear and tear’ we experience as we attempt to cope with the pressures in our lives. Another definition of stress is that it is a physical and mental response to too much or too little pressure. Many would assume that those with too little pressure are unlikely to suffer stress but this is not true, in fact if you look at stress in organisations it is not higher management who suffer stress most but it is those who have less control over their environment.
A third definition is that stress can be caused when there is high demand, high restriction and low support which means if you are expected to do too much with too little resources and with insufficient support you may be prone to stress.
The typical physical symptoms may include palpitations, increased pulse rate, sleepiness, chest pains, pins and needles, weakness, dilated pupils, insomnia, fainting, butterflies, tightness in chest and an increased frequency in using the toilet. The psychological reactions to stress can include feeling under pressure, constant fear, increased irritability, proneness to tears, impulse to run and hide and high sensitivity to external stimuli.
Hypnotherapy has become very popular over the past ten years since the publication of numerous medical studies some only possible thank to the recent development of high powered CT scanners. Experts in the US, UK and around the world have shown that hypnosis can help to activate different parts of the brain and the outcomes can be very positive.
Its benefits in treating stress have been know for decades but in recent years research has also shown it is very useful in treating common conditions such a IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which as many as 1 in 5 people are believed to suffer from. Even NICE (the independent body of experts who evaluate treatments in the UK) have been forced to amend their advice to doctors to include hypnotherapy which suggests soon it will cease to be considered as a complimentary treatment but mainstream. In addition to IBS and similar stomach disorders hypnotherapy is known to be helpful in treating a number of medical conditions and it is also used for safely reducing pain for people with long term pain (eg: arthritis) and making childbirth less painful and reducing the need for pain killers that may have harmful side effects.