Discuss The Relationship Between Stress, Anxiety, Habits And Phobias And Describe How You Would Treat These Issues With Hypnotherapy In order to understand the relationship between stress, anxiety, habits and phobias, it is necessary to first define what each one is and how it affects us. It is a well- known fact that stress and anxiety are the two main reasons for people being sick and taking time off work.
It is apparent that these conditions can prevent people from reaching their full potential in life. What is Stress? Stress can show itself in many ways.It can be caused by a number of different things/situations. Over a period of time stress can manifest itself and grow into something that is not containable. A certain amount of stress can be beneficial to the system, – we all need a certain amount of stress to survive and deal with those emergencies that sometimes unexpectedly happen, and this reaction provides us with the necessary spark to kick us into action so not all stress is negative for the body. However, where it becomes out of control for some people, it can become an incapacitating condition.Stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to health, mood, productivity, relationships, and quality of life.
Stress is often categorised into:- 1. Hypostress –a person is bored or unchallenged, lacks motivation. By doing repetitive actions/work people may find it hard to be motivated in other areas of their lives. 2. Eustress – this is short term stress, it gives people the strength to complete a task.
It occurs due to increase in physical activity/creativity. This can be classed as positive stress as it increases performance and incentive. 3.
Acute Stress – generally identified as stress. This can cause the physical disturbances. 4. Episodic Acute Stress – can be damaging to the physical body – can cause hypertension, stroke, heart attack and stomach disorders. 5. Chronic Stress – This is a serious and seems to have no end. Although treatable it can take a considerable amount of time to bring under control. 6.
Traumatic Stress – This is a cumulative build- up of massive acute stress. Post-Traumatic Stress disorder is covered within this category. Stress is the body’s natural reaction to fear and change.It is defined as a normal physiological response by the body to situations or stimuli which the brain perceives as dangerous or threatening to the body. At times of stress or perceived stress, our adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys, release into the bloodstream the hormones Adrenaline, Noradrenaline and Cortisol. These hormones, which are also produced by nerve cells, are very powerful, stimulating chemicals, which can affect the heart and the other internal organs in the body. The release of these stimulating chemicals into the bloodstream is essential to us.
So that in times of danger they give us the extra energy to help us to run away, or stay and fight which is known as the Fight or Flight response. Your muscles tense, ready for action and your heart beats faster to carry blood to where it’s most needed – the muscles and the brain. You breathe faster, sweat more and your mouth becomes dry. The more the body experiences difficult situations or what is perceived as a difficult situation the harder it becomes to switch this feeling/reaction off, which is then when stress needs to be treated. It is not all doom and gloom as the majority of cases can be treated by hypnotherapy.What is Anxiety? Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.
People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, public speaking, or interview. Anxiety is a response that we all feel at some times and this is an entirely normal reaction which is a form of protection to aid survival.It teaches us to avoid situations which are dangerous. It will produce the feelings of Fight or Flight. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal.
Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation. It can cause physical symptoms such as:- 1. Trembling 2. Tense muscles 3. Churning of stomach 4. Nausea 5. Diarrhoea 6.
Headache 7. Backache 8. Palpitations 9. Numbness and/or pins and needles 10. Sweating/flushingThese symptoms are the body’s reaction to prepare for the flight or fight response. The body will eliminate waste, also to send as much oxygen as possible to feed the muscles that are required to generate that action.
It is usual to try and avoid any situation that makes us feel anxious, which then has an effect of causing feelings of anxiety about the next time that the person feels that they are likely to be in that situation again. So, every time you try to avoid something it then becomes more difficult to face it. In the long term avoidance is perceived as the better option because this will prevent the feelings of anxiety.This could result in development of a phobia/phobias. What Is A Habit? A habit is something that you do without thinking about it. It is behaviour or a set of behaviours that you do automatically, without thinking and consciously intending to do it. The basic purpose of habits is to assist us in our daily lives e.
g. like brushing our teeth, stopping at a red light, getting ready for bed, making the bed, all of these and many more are done in a habitual manner. Apart from that, in addition to not requiring us to constantly use our brains, habits also allows to us to perform multiple tasks at the same time.Just as we have good habits, we also have bad habits. Despite the original function of habits to simplify our lives, we can also develop habits that are negative and destructive. Whenever we repeatedly exhibit a behaviour, response or thought, it will become a habit e. g.
if you like to eat a lot when you feel bored, you will inevitably eat when you are bored. Or nail biting when you are feeling anxious you will bite your nails each time you experience feelings of anxiety. There needs to be an awareness of the habits hat we are unconsciously developing every single day, as inevitably not all habits formed are appropriate behaviour and they have to be stopped. What is A Phobia? A phobia is an irrational fear of something. A fear becomes a phobia when you have an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation (eg. going outside) or object (eg. buttons). You will often begin to organise your life around avoiding the thing that is causing you anxiety.
If you have a phobia you will not display any symptoms until you are placed in a situation where you will have to face your fear (the situation or object).In some cases, even thinking about the situation or object can cause a reaction. Physical symptoms of a phobia are:- 1.
Feeling dizzy, unsteady 2. Feeling of choking 3. Palpitations, chest pain 4. Sweating 5.
Nausea 6. Numbness, tingling/pins and needles 7. Shaking/trembling These feelings are the same symptoms experienced when feeling anxious, therefore when you know that you are going to be in a situation whereby you will face your fear these feelings will appear – so you then develop an irrational fear of it.There are several types of phobias:- 1. Simple phobias – These are phobias about one thing; for example, spiders or flying. They often develop in childhood or adolescence, and for many people they will lessen as they get older 2. Complex phobias – Complex phobias tend to be more disruptive and disabling than specific phobias and often develop after adolescence e. g.
fear of drowning, losing control, being lost or fear of open spaces. 3. Social phobia – fear of what might happen when you have to be around people.It can become incredibly debilitating and a seemingly impossible challenge to engage in everyday activities, like shopping, eating out or meeting friends. 4. Panic Attacks – linked with phobia 5.
Agoraphobia – Agoraphobia is widely thought to be a fear of open spaces, but it is more complex than this. The essential feature of agoraphobia is that you will feel anxious about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult, embarrassing, or in which help may not be available in the event of having a panic attack.This anxiety will then result in you avoiding of a variety of situations that may include: being alone, inside or outside the home; being in a crowd of people; travelling by car, bus or plane; or being on a bridge or in a lift. There does not seem any specific cause of phobias but it could be linked with several factors e. g. could be linked to a specific incident or a learned response from childhood a fear which is experienced by a parent or sibling. So, what is the relationship between stress, anxiety, habit and phobia?People dealing with stress will experience feelings of anxiety or anxiousness; the symptoms are almost the same. During periods of anxiousness or stress some people can develop habits that occur when experiencing anxiety or stress e.
g. nail biting or binge eating. A phobia as described earlier, can develop from experiencing anxiety of a particular situation, which then develops into an irrational fear of something. How would you treat these issues with Hypnotherapy?Stress – people need to understand the reasons why they are stressed, and it is important that they accept that they need to change their lives in some way to remove the negative symptoms in their lives, which in turn causes anxiety. The therapist needs to understand and recognise common symptoms of stress and anxiety which can be both mental and physical.
The therapist needs to be competent in helping with acute stress, episodic stress and some cases of chronic stress however this should be in conjunction with the individual seeing a GP and the therapist seeking consent from the GP to treat the individual.I would write a hypnotic screed for the individual which is based on relaxation with suggestions based on being less stressed and agitated and being more in control. Anxiety – In order to treat a person with anxiety the therapist would have to assist with the individual to help them understand that the symptoms can be alleviated and the individual can learn how to deal with them. Further progression would be psychotherapy to look further deeper into the individual’s neurosis. I would suggest a hypnotic screed based on the person learning how to deal with their anxiety.Habits – In order to treat a person with a habit, the individual has to accept that they have a habit, and understand that they can break this habit.
There are several suggestions for screeds that can be used for habit breaking. You could do a screed based on the positive effects after successfully breaking the habit or it could be focused on the lack of need to sustain the habit. I would write a screed which is a mix of positive suggestions, with the added introduction of using conscious thought if there is the possibility of repeating the habit, by actively using a plan of action.Phobias – In order to treat a person with a phobia, by asking the question ‘how much money would you pay to stop your phobia? A person with a true phobia would straight away not put a number as no amount of money would ever be enough. I would suggest treating the individual with a screed based on their fear or fears.
I would base it around the individual experiencing in their imagination the situation that makes them feel fearful but that they are always in control. I would at all times acknowledge that their fear is realistic but that they are showing an irrational reaction to it.