Stress Management: You Can Increase Effectiveness, Avoid Burnout
The human brain receives messages from several sources, each dealing with separate types of information. Input dealing with everyday matters such as news, music, hobbies, relationships, weather, etc. comes from the external environment. Our own bodies provide data concerning movement, digestion, tension, pain, etc., all in the form of messages sent to the brain.
The conscious mind deals with reasoning logic, decisions, goal planning and conscious activity. The subconscious mind wields the greatest influence. It receives all the messages from our social, spiritual and genetic backgrounds and all the conflicts and disturbances which enter our consciousness each day. The subconscious mind receives and holds its information, neither accepting nor rejecting messages. It does not evaluate. That procedure is reserved for the conscious mind.
From primitive times, the human animal has possessed an escape mechanism that even today, under severely threatening conditions, can cause regression to primitive behaviour. The fight/flight syndrome, a means of dealing with fears, threats, attacks and other disturbances, has gained tolerance through evolution with the addition of reaction vs. action and repression vs. depression. Without these, when the message input volume reached overload conditions, the escaped would be toward the denial reality. However, the desire for social acceptance provides motivation to cope with and adapt to reality.
Nevertheless, when the conscious mind can no longer handle the messages overloading the brain, the subconscious prepares us for fight or flight. But sometimes there is nothing to fight. We can’t fight the environment. We can’t fight a job, an accident, a bad decision. What now?
Unable to fight, the reaction turns to the alternative of flight, which in present day life can prove impossible. Often a state of apathy, depression and/or hypersuggestibility ensues. Negative input finds acceptance. Futility and melancholy develop and overreaction to the senses develops together with a loss of tolerance. The road turns downhill.
A person experiencing continuing stress may well become subject to such frenzy, in the process developing any or several forms of stress-related illness. While certain types of stress are even desirable (romantic stress, job promotions, winning a lottery), stresses that produce debilitation, depression, excessive smoking, overeating, anger, grief and similar reactions need attention and usually professional help.
The first recognition of a therapist dealing with stress is likely to be that while the world, or the past, cannot be changed; it is possible to alter the client’s perception of and reaction to them.
Again, causal factors need to be investigated. Stress may be a reaction to people, places, events or things. The threats may be real or imagined. The subconscious mind does not analyse and, usually, by the time depression appears, the conscious mind has lost its ability to do so. There are several common basic causes of stress which can be recognized, defined and often eliminated.
What’s Behind it All
Every individual is different in tolerance levels, coping abilities, reaction and therapeutic needs. Dealing with stress is best accomplished through a trained, experienced and sensitive professional who can determine causes and evaluate reactions. Sheer willpower is not the remedy in stress cases. Effective and permanent relief responds to desensitisation, which can be brought about through hypnotherapy.
It is important to analyse the stress stimuli and the physical/emotional responses which they bring about. Through hypnosis, positive new responses can be created to replace the devastating reactions of the past. New responses to old disturbances can be induced with major changes in attitudes and reactions.