If you suffer from extreme or high levels of stress, the first step in reducing your stress is to examine the causes of your stress reaction.
You may find this puzzling, but it is likely the cause of your stress will fall into one of the following categories.
What follows here are examples of the most common types of bad stress.
You have inherited a proclivity for stress
For example, when you were very young, you learned how to show or not to show affection from watching and modeling your parents. Your mother may have consistently shown stress whenever she entertained and cooked for quests; you got the message that having guests stimulated stress. Or perhaps your best friend who was liberal frequently fought with his conservative father; you got the message that talking about politics brought on stress.
These may be extreme examples, but it is possible you learned about stress by modeling the (stressed) behavior of those who you loved and who influenced you at an early age.
You have a Type A personality
You are probably a Type A if you are:
- Quick to exhibit anger
- Extremely competitive, and irrituable when/if you lose
- An overachiever
- Often pushing yourself toward unrealistic goals
- Cynical and at times extremely negative or hostile
- Always rushing
Type A personalities are sometimes addicted to stress; it describes their lifestyle. These types are especially prone to heart attacks, especially people who tend toward cynicism and hostility.
You focus on the nightmares of life
You worry constantly about the worst possible outcomes and expect disaster to strike anytime. You have a tendency to “awfulize”. You are plagued by the “shoulds” and “should nots”.
- I should be able to lose weight and keep it off.
- I shouldn’t smoke.
- I should not make mistakes.
- I should be a better husband/wife.
- I should not complain.
- I should be able to take care of myself.
Living with this type of invisible list of burdens can be debilitating.
You experience physical pain or discomfort
If you suffer from pain with a physical cause this can lead to feelings of isolation, guilt, sometimes anger, and even to extreme depression and helplessness.
You repress negative emotions of anger, hurt, fear, guilt or sadness
These people will go to great lengths to avoid acknowledging their true feelings. They may compensate by demanding constant attention, talking non-stop, overeating or drinking, exhibiting extreme defensive behavior, or turning everything into a problem.
You are exposed to an incident or situation that taxes your mental and emotional capabilities
This may be in your job, family, or marriage, for example. It might be the cumulative effect of several minor causes, that seem insignificant individually but can accumulate and seem monumental by the end of a hectic day or week.
You have a dietary deficiency
Some foods cause emotions to soar one minute and plunge the next. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol are closely connected to stress. A lack of Vitamin B complex can contribute to irritability. Poor eating habits can lead to stress, which in turn can lead to more poor eating behavior.
If you are female you may experience stress as product of PMS
Research shows that up to 50% of women between the ages of 18 and 45 experience PMS. The emotional symptoms include anxiety, confusion, and extreme mood swings.
How can Hypnosis help reduce bad stress?
Hypnosis can help significantly reduce or eliminate stress once the specific stress stimulus is identified, along with the accompanying behavioral responses. New physical and emotional responses can be created and then reprogrammed into the subconscious.
The overall objective of this behavior change is to:
- Reduce or eliminate the negative stress in your life.
- Incorporate new positive responses to old stress stimuli.
- Feel protected from stress and become a calmer, happier and healthier person.I
Source: adapted from “Hypnosis for Change”, by Josie Hadley and Carol Staudacher