Stress Reduction with Hypnosis
This is the third of my S’s a hypnotherapist needs to master (Smoking Cessation and Slimming being the other two). This is an exceptionally common form of treatment that people seek from hypnotherapists. According to Herbert Benson, the objective of all stress reduction is to activate “the relaxation response”. The relaxation response is a highly specific neurological state of the body; and is the exact opposite of the fight or flight response. This can be activated through hypnosis or meditation. The relaxation response demobilises the sympathetic nervous system and produces a reciprocal mobilisation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Strategies for Stress Management
I teach my clients self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis will enable the client to deactivate the stress response. In addition to the beneficial effects of deep relaxation, self-hypnosis will empty the mind of disturbing thoughts and evoke the parasympathetic nervous system’s relaxation response.
I advise clients to take a short period of time away from stressful situations they may encounter, and to practice the self-hypnosis technique. When the client becomes proficient, self-hypnosis can be used to produce relaxation quickly and in almost any environment.
I encourage the client to adopt a safe exercise programme, such as walking. As stated in the weight control part of the course, walking is actually one of the best all around physical activities.
I caution the client to avoid taking problems to bed. Tell your client, “At the end of the day, spend a few minutes reviewing your entire day’s experiences, event by event, as if you are replaying a tape. Release all negative emotions you have harboured (anger, insecurity, anxiety). Relish all good energy or emotion (Love, praise, feeling good, self respect). Reach a decision about unfinished events, and release mental and muscular tension”. Now the client is ready for a relaxing and emotionally healing sleep.