By Linda King, C.HT., FEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Luxmani Practitioner
Stress can come into our lives from all different sources: changing jobs (particularly getting fired or laid off), a move, a death, divorce, money problems, deadlines, health problems or retiring, to name a few. Sometimes the stress may be brought on from our environment: too much noise, pollution, toxins, crowds or EMFs. The question is, how to deal with the stress so it does not adversely impact our health?
Stress affects each person differently and in varying degrees. It can appear as tension in the back, neck and shoulders, elevated blood pressure, physical aches and pains, eating or digestive issues, problems with elimination (such as frequent urination or constipation), insomnia, sexual impotence or a decreased desire for sex. Stress can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or any number of other conditions.
As a Medical Hypnotherapist, I see many clients coming in with high stress issues. During sessions, I assist clients change the way their brain and body react to stress. Sometimes, we talk to other parts of ourselves, (Inner Healer, Inner Child, Wise Mind, Control Center, etc.) for another perspective on the healing process. We create tools to help us, such as healing bridges, shields, lights or changing the “channel” on the screen in our minds. The possibilities are endless with hypnotherapy.
Decreasing Your Stress Levels
There are many things you can do on your own to bring the stress levels down. I recommend trying the following suggestions:
• Identify what might be causing the stress. Keep a journal of when you notice the stress building up. Once you identify the source, you can begin to make changes in your life to eliminate them.
• Get plenty of rest.
• Try the 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise. This breathing exercise was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and works within a couple minutes to bring down stress levels. Exhale completely through the mouth, breathe in slowly through the nose, quietly, to the count of four, hold for seven seconds, exhale through the mouth to the count of eight. Repeat three more times.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs.
• Eat healthy foods by ensuring you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need.
• Increase physical activity. Taking a walk in nature is ideal.
• Do something relaxing: read a book, get a massage, try a Reiki treatment, take in a sauna, soak in the bathtub with Epsom salts or sea salts and add a little essential oils (such as lavender or orange).
• Try a Crystal Light Healing Bed therapy treatment or Halotherapy (Salt Cave).
• Find someone you can talk to about what’s going on in your life.
• Spend a little time everyday watching or reading something that brings a smile or laugh into your day, even funny pet videos or joke of the day sites.
• Make up a list of positive affirmations on how you WANT to be feeling: “Every day, my body is calm and relaxed. I choose to be calm while dealing with difficulties at work. I breathe slowly and calmly.”
• Avoid overloading your schedule. It is okay to say “NO,” when asked to work extra hours, or attend an event, or host an event.
• Meditate. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference. Can’t meditate on your own? Try listening to relaxing guided meditations.
• Take up Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Pilates or another Mind/Body practice that will help you make connections with relaxation, balance, stretching and moving your body.
• Consider trying Flower Essences. Flower Remedies are made from the dew drops of flowers, plants and trees and help us to heal emotionally and on a soul level. Usually taken orally, they work by raising our frequencies, usually over the course of a few weeks. Rescue Remedy is a “combo remedy” known around the world for being a safe, natural treatment for acute stress, trauma, accidents, etc. There are many different remedies that work on stress on a permanent basis. Some of these are Elm, Chamomile, Dill, Indian Pink, Star of Bethlehem and Aspen. These may be used for specific underlying causes of stress.
• Try aromatherapy as it can be very effective in bringing down stress levels. Individual essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile, or specific blends can be used in a diffuser, a bath, or applied directly on acupressure points.
• Try tapping. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has been around a couple decades now, and it works great! This technique developed by Gary Craig, an engineer at Stanford, combines thought field therapy with tapping on acupressure points, which release endorphins to make you feel better within minutes.
If stress is creating problems in your life, do try to get a handle on it before physical issues or further mental or emotional strains start occurring in your life. If your doctor has recommended prescription medications, know the possible implications and side effects before taking them. Many have long term effects, such as “numbing your emotions” on a permanent basis.
There are many hypnotherapists, counselors, life coaches and therapists who have been trained in reducing stress and promoting relaxation. It is not necessary to go through this alone.