I had a breakthrough with a client recently, and was able to help him find relief from acute stress very quickly.
My client said he is not getting the work done he needs to do. When he is about to work at his computer, he gets triggered and goes into acute stress – he feels intense fear, is frozen, can’t think, feels numb, and often feels panic.
This stress is triggered by a memory from when he was about 4 years old and he felt he would only be safe if he didn’t move. This memory is vague in detail but triggers a very powerful experience of stress.
He described many of the signs of extreme stress and it was very clear that his fight or flight response mechanism had been activated. I said “what you are telling me sounds physical.” He said “it feels physical.”
I realized that his access to change and relief was available by working directly with the stress in his body, rather than the memory or his feelings or how he was experiencing the stress mentally.
I first explained to my client what was happening, which provided some immediate relief by helping him see that he was actually in control, even though it didn’t feel that way. A sense of not being in control is the primary underlying factor in stress and many negative emotional states.
The symptoms my client experienced are a natural part of the body’s fight or flight mechanism, and they’re a direct result of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are released when we perceive danger. When we feel threatened or sense danger (real or imagined) our stress response mechanism puts our body into high alert mode and prepares us to deal with the threat.
After I did a hypnosis session for him, I taught him diaphragmatic breathing which made a difference right away as we sat there and he practiced it.
Diaphragmatic (or deep abdominal) breathing is a simple yet powerful technique that can help you move from acute stress to a relaxed and calm state within just a few minutes. It is then possible to focus on the task at hand, free of stress, anxiety, fear or anger.
Diaphragmatic Breathing involves taking a series of slow breaths combined with calming statements which speak to the sub conscious directly and help us change our emotional state