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We are all familiar with stress, although only 30 years ago this very word had a completely different meaning to most people. ‘Stress’ described something under load. In engineering terms it was when a bridge might fall down. But today, what comes first to most people’s minds is very different.

Since the dawn of mankind the response and state that we now refer to as stress has had a very significant effect on our health and how we cope (or don’t cope) with demands.

In order to understand stress, it’s important to also look at anxiety, depression, and anger, as these are all products of a very primitive brain system, which despite the evolutionary development of our intellectual and executive function, we still have in existence today.

Did you know that depression, anger and anxiety are all primitive opt out clauses, which take our control away from the intellectual mind, and remove our brain’s executive function and ability to think, and respond rationally to a situation?

The stress response is the same now as it was in the caveman days. When the cave man looked out of the cave and there was snow or ice or danger and he couldn’t go out to hunt, he would pull the rug over his head and avoid interacting until the situation changed. We have adapted this to all the modern day symptoms of depression. If we were in the jungle in those days we wouldn’t have been far away from our panic button at any given time. Anger is merely a primitive way of increasing our strength to defend ourselves against wild animals and other wild tribesman.

Our early ancestors faced very real hazards. Our responses are the same today. We are hard-wired to respond to perceived threats regardless of whether the threat is ‘real’. Particularly important to mention here is that stress relates very closely to anxiety. We can create anxiety by either negatively forecasting the future, worrying about a negative outcome, or ruminating about the past. All these negative thoughts contribute our negative state of feeling stressed.

If we are anxious then the mind often gets into a state of high alert, vigilantly scanning it’s environment for threats, and not being able to relax. Paradoxically, however, it’s when we are relaxed that we are able to come up with a proper and balanced assessment of a situation. When we are relaxed we are able to operate from our advanced intellectual brains, and this part of the brain is capable of new innovative solutions to problems or challenges. It is therefore better able to tackle the task in a more efficient manner.

Cutting down on substantial levels of stress in the workplace isn’t just good sense for business as it has a beneficial effect on employees, but it can also help staff morale and improve productivity. Local Hypnotherapist Liane Ulbricht-Kazan comments “People who struggle with stress in the office may find they have anger issues or that they struggle with sleep patterns – perhaps becoming insular in their thinking. One of the most common areas that people come to see me about is areas of life connected to stress and, in particular, stress at work.”

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps because it does not focus on the source of the stress or anxiety, but looks at the alternatives, which helps to form new habits and quickly propel us towards coping better in the future.

“A key part of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is the safe use of a trance state which is a natural way to aid in the reduction of stress so that, after a number of sessions, the client can start to feel better placed to cope with life.”