A hypnotherapists guide to reducing stress
Written By Alison Ralph Date: 02.11.22
Today is Stress Awareness Day in the UK so I thought I would create a guide to help you reduce stress. The aim of the guide is to help you to notice what you might be doing in your life that can create more stress and hopefully enable you to put new things into place to prevent the feelings of stress or overwhelm. Within my therapy practice I work with many clients who are experiencing anxiety or low mood from the overwhelm and stress they have in their day-to-day life and the guide I have created here are tried and tested strategies I have suggested to my clients.
Say No more often
This is one that many people struggle with. Always trying to make other people happy or a belief that the more you do for others, the better their opinion of you. This can lead you to take on more than you can physically and mentally handle. Remember that it is okay to say NO. It doesn’t mean that you are being unreasonable, it just means that you are looking after you and that you can give more quality time and attention to the things you have said yes too. This may mean learning to be more assertive and when I say assertive, I don’t mean to be mean to people but setting boundaries in place to make sure that you protect yourself. You might find that this is something that you could improve within the workplace or with family or friends.
If you have read any of my other blog posts or you follow my social media posts you will know that I am a big believer in deep breathing. When you take a long deep breath in through the nose and out of the mouth it not only activates the parasympathetic nervous system (that’s the part of our body that deals with relaxation) it also enables us to take time out, close our eyes if we chose and release the muscles in our body. It also allows us to interrupt a faster pace of breathing that is often experienced with stress and bring the breathing back to normal. The benefits of long breaths really are plentiful when it comes to releasing stress. Deep belly breathing is my favourite and the one I teach to most of my clients. See the instructions below!
Get plenty of sleep
Sleeping really does have an effect on the way we think and feel, and the decisions that we decide to make during the day. If you are someone who struggles to sleep, then create an environment that promotes sleep. To find out more you can have a read of my blog all about insomnia.
Yes, it’s the one that is talked about an awful lot but for good reason! It really does help the body to release stress. Think about the time when we were cave men. We were faced with an animal that may want to kill us. We had to run away or fight it. The adrenalin rushed around our body and we either ran or we fought. As we were doing either of these, the adrenalin would discharge from the body, and everything would go back to its normal way of working. It is important to know that our body experiences this same reaction with our everyday stress, but we don’t run or fight. When we exercise, it can help to get rid of these chemicals as well as producing the feel-good hormones, endorphins. Make sure you find the exercise that works for you. My most favourite exercise is netball – I love it and it fits in with my lifestyle and so it is easy to go and do it!
Ask for help!
Yes, it’s another one that people always go on about. I am not necessarily talking about going to see a GP or a therapist. I am talking about acknowledging that you are taking on too much as a mum, dad, partner, employee, daughter, son… you get the jist! I often work with people, and they are doing EVERYTHING! And, not feeling as though they can ask for help. This might be because they are embarrassed to or because they feel they SHOULD because of some deep-seated belief. I am here to tell you that you are only HUMAN. You cannot do everything and if you are, it is likely that you will be suffering from some sort of stress. Ask for help from friends and family members, either help with physical activities or a listening ear. If you feel that you can’t talk to them, seek out a therapist who you can talk to.
Remember that you are only human, and humans were not designed for such a fast paced and ever-changing world and life. It is okay to say no, and you will notice that when you start to say no, things will feel much easier and less overwhelming. Make time for things that are good for you, and you will feel the benefits, and if you are struggling, please ask for help, whether that is physical help or just someone to talk to. You will notice that once you have given yourself permission to do this, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders!
If you feel you would like to know more about how counselling could help you then please get in touch. You may find that you only need a couple of sessions.