Copyright © Paul Holder 2013/ 2014/ 2015
When we hold onto excess stress our emotions are affected and our body reacts in some way. If this pattern recurs over & over again, the function of the mind & body is put under great strain. We can’t think straight (Freeze Response). Judgement is affected. Decision making is blurred. The emotions stirred. Memory function struggles. We cant perform at our best. We panic (Fight or flight). It may completely prevent us from doing something vitally important. Sometimes just taking a few deep breaths can be enough to feel normal again and to regain our composure. But if we keep pushing our self to the limit, the outlet for stress can now manifest in terms of malfunctions. At the mild end of the scale, it may be a skin rash, a raised heart rate, higher blood pressure, Irritable bowel syndrome, muscular tension, headaches, a knot in the stomach, tight muscles etc but at the more extreme end of the scale after repeated episodes of stress and anxiety, very serious health problems can and do occur, resulting in heart attacks, ulcers, strokes, etc. The body is quite literally in a state of ‘dis-ease’. Sometimes we need to have some extra help to change our thinking patterns to help us respond differently to stress and break this negative cycle. This is where my therapy comes in very useful indeed. I can help you to relax and let go of stored up stress, and by sending positive signals back to to the rational Pre Frontal Cortex in the brain, calm thinking, and clear solutions are restored. Of course, having hypnotherapy doesn’t take away life’s challenges, but it helps you cope with today’s busy lifestyles from a place of relaxed rationality and much greater calmness.
General Anxiety & Stress.
There are times when a bit of stress can be very useful (See image below). Under threatening & dangerous circumstances, your brain signals for the body to quickly produce the necessary neurotransmitter chemicals to effectively respond to danger. Your limbs are filled with adrenalin to quickly get you out of trouble. However, in our fast paced busy modern world, we often feel stressed for different reasons: Not because we are being chased by a big angry animal, but perhaps because we’re under the pressure of a big angry boss with demanding deadlines at work, running late for appointments or our flight, being nervous about an interview while getting stuck in a traffic jam, etc. In these situations we still look for outlets for that excess adrenalin. We cant ‘run or fight for our life’ to burn off that excess adrenalin, so instead we might shout and scream at a driver holding us up on the road, maybe we take our frustrations out with the check-in staff at the airport, or fly off the handle with members of our family when we get home, or turn to other outlets like drink, drugs, or smoking in the hope that the problem will be numbed by substances and distraction. Let’s face it, all of us experience stress at some point and no doubt we’ve all thrown a tantrum or two, trying to offload some of our excess stress and frustration. The rational part of your brain realises (after you’ve calmed down) that your reaction to that stress was unreasonable, but because you were stressed you reacted using the more primitive part of the brain called the Amygdala, in the only way it knows when it senses danger. It simply cannot behave from a rational perspective. This ‘primitive brain’ doesn’t have the ability to differentiate between what’s real and what’s imagined so as far as it’s concerned, it is a danger reacts just like it would in the picture.
About Anxiety & Stress
‘Your body is designed to cope very well with the threat of real danger. This system has evolved since primitive times and provides us with a strong survival mechanism when our safety is at risk. We call this system the ‘fight or flight’ response. There is also a third response called the ‘freeze’ response. When a real danger has passed we can return to normal service. We learn from the experience and remember it for future reference’. However, if we hang onto beliefs that need no longer apply based on past events we can over-react unnecessarily and re-trigger the survival mechanism.
Although you may be generally comfortable with daily life, there may be specific events that trigger anxiety which we refer to as specific fears & phobias. These may be related to anything from making a speech in public, taking an exam or driving test, or may be more severe in nature such as Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) etc. On a scale of one to ten the intensity of the fear will vary from person to person. Many people suffer from minor phobias, from the more common ones such as flying, heights, dentists, needles, spiders, mice, blood etc to many more obscure ones too. I totally respect that whatever fear you may have, it’s very real and very uncomfortable for you. These more focused fear responses have usually been learned because of a bad experience from the past. Some may stem from fairly recent times, but many have been carried all the way from childhood into adulthood. I have a variety of techniques that I have successfully used on my clients to overcome their fears and phobias. My 25 or so years of working as a professional musician performer has proven very useful helping my clients beat stage & studio nerves, and enhance sports performance. Most targeted fears & phobias can be dealt with in relatively few sessions as they are so specific. On average four or five sessions are sufficient in most cases but it does vary according to the severity & cause and the individual effected. Please feel free to call me on 01769 574711 to discuss your own needs.
Fear of the dentist
Fear of heights
Children & Stress
It is vital that children are given a healthy environment in which to develop. The learning process is seriously impaired when exposed to prolonged stress. When stress occurs, the intellectual brain function of the pre frontal cortex is blocked considerably. It is no coincidence that with the bombardment of so many tech based stimuli such as electronic play stations and computer games, (especially violence based), many children are suffering from ADHD, stress and anxiety on a scale never seen before.
PTSD (Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder)
This can occur when an abnormal life threatening situation has happened. Tsunamis, car accidents, military incidents, rape, and abuse are examples of this.
Although the symptoms can be very severe, they are treatable. I would usually approach PTSD using EFT. This technique has been shown to be effective on veterans returning from Vietnam, The Falklands, Iraq & Afghanistan.
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