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  • Writer's pictureJackie Thomson

The Hidden Effects of Stress in 2024: Could Hypnotherapy Offer Relief?

A woman looking stressed at work

Stress has evolved. It’s become an ever-present resident, impacting many  aspects of our lives in ways we often don’t even notice.  We live in a high-pressure, fast-moving, busy world. The traditional pressures of work and relationships now coexist with the unique challenges of the digital age leave their mark on mental and physical wellbeing.


The landscape is changing


The stress landscape of 2024 is vastly different from previous decades. New challenges have emerged in the digital age and now run alongside the more traditional versions of stress, such as anxiety and overwhelm.  The never-ending barrage of information, both true and false; the constant connectivity via technology and the pursuit of perfection fuelled by social media have added extra layers to our stress - often without us realising it.


Hiding in plain sight


Stress isn't always easily recognisable. It goes beyond overwhelm or anxiety, manifesting in subtle, unexpected ways, creeping into our lives without us even noticing. From decision fatigue to the paralysis of perfectionism, the effects of stress can be far-reaching.


So why do we get stressed?

Back in the Stone Age, we faced daily threats to our lives. When a threat came along, our brains sparked off hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which got our hearts beating faster, we breathed faster and our muscles tensed up. This put us in ‘fight or flight’ mode, giving our bodies the physical edge they needed to either run away or fight that threat. Our survival depended on it.


While times have changed and the level of threat to our lives has decreased, our brains still have this survival feature.


These days, different things are perceived as threats to our brains. For example, when your manager emails you with a tight deadline. Your brain still goes through the motions to prepare you to ‘fight or flight’, but instead of fighting your manager or running away from your desk, you prepare to get the job done and those hormones are released, rushing through your veins and making you feel stressed.


Usually this feeling passes but, if we’re coming face to face with multiple stressors regularly, we can feel in a constant state of stress and start to develop symptoms.


It’s often this build-up of small, subtle stressors like work-related stress or financial worries that lead to ongoing, or chronic, stress.


Are you stressed – do you recognise the signs?


Stress often shows itself in subtle ways, affecting our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing without us really being aware of them.


Here are ten common symptoms to look out for:


1.   Persistent fatigue: Feeling constantly tired, even after a full night's sleep, can be a sign of underlying stress.

2.   Increased irritability: If you’re noticing yourself snapping at loved ones or feeling on edge more often, stress may be the culprit.

3.   Difficulty concentrating: Struggling to focus, procrastination or experiencing frequent lapses in memory can indicate heightened stress levels.

4.   Changes in appetite: Whether overeating or loss of appetite, changes in eating habits can signal stress-related disruptions.

5.   Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or restless sleep can all be indicative of stress.

6.   Physical aches and pains: Stress may cause tension headaches, muscle aches and digestive issues.

7.   Increased heart rate: Feeling like your heart is racing or experiencing palpitations may be a physiological response to stress.

8.   Mood swings: Fluctuations in mood, from feeling overly emotional to feeling ‘numb’, can be a sign of underlying stress.

9.   Withdrawal: Losing interest in things you enjoyed or isolating yourself can indicate heightened stress levels.

10.   Heightened anxiety: Constantly on edge, racing thoughts or a sense of impending doom are common stress symptoms.


Recognising the signs is the first step towards taking proactive steps to address the stress and take back control over your wellbeing.


The good news is that once you start to learn how to recognise the signs of stress, you can employ a relaxation technique like self-hypnosis before your stress becomes difficult to manage.


The power of hypnotherapy in stress relief


Amidst the chaos of modern stress, hypnotherapy offers a solution.


Working with the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy aims to break negative thought patterns and responses to stress and help you form more healthy reactions.


Your hypnotherapist will help you enter a state of deep relaxation (hypnosis) during which your subconscious is more open to suggestion. Through relaxation techniques and guided imagery, you can then release tension, foster resilience, and cultivate inner peace – allowing different ways of responding to stress to become automatic, ‘reprogramming’ deep-seated beliefs and thought patterns which have contributed to stress.


Practical tips for stress management


In addition to hypnotherapy, incorporating mindfulness practices, deep breathing exercises and self-care rituals can effectively manage stress. Each individual possesses the power to cultivate a balanced life.


Navigating stress with hypnotherapy


Stress may be ever-present in our lives, but it need not define our existence. With hypnotherapy, we can unravel the unseen effects of stress, reclaiming control over thoughts, emotions and actions.


If you're ready to explore how hypnotherapy can help you break free from stress and embrace balance and wellbeing, reach out. Don't let stress hold you back - reclaim control over your life today!

a picture of Jackie Thomson, clinical hypnotherapist


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