As a person perpetuates stress and continues to endure excessive tension, he or she may experience an escalating frenzy or become a candidate for stress-related illness.
While certain types of stress can be good for you, stress that begins to debilitate or produce depression is completely undesirable. When this happens, it is a call for change. While you may not be able to change the world, you can change your reaction to it.
The cause of your stress reaction may fall into one of the following categories:
You have inherited a proclivity for stress.
Your stress may be inherited. You have learned to behave in the same way as someone you admired or depended on. This is called “modeling”. Just as fears often run in the family, so do stressful reactions. Stress that has been transferred from parent to child is sometimes intensified by the inherent physical makeup of the individual.
You experience stress because of the Type A personality.
The definition of a Type A individual fits if you are:
– Prone to overachievement
– In the habit of forcing yourself to work toward unrealistic goals
– Consistently competitive
– Constantly aware of time and prone to rushing
– Quick to exhibit anger
The core of the Type A’s problem is that he or she is addicted to stress. The stress constitutes a lifestyle and acts as a precursor of illness. Recent studies link Type A personalities and heart attacks. The hostility factors coupled with cynicism are the two key elements that make this group more susceptible than others.
You experience stress because of fears, catastrophizing and “shoulds.”
Focusing on the nightmares of life, worrying about the worst possible alternatives can produce continual stress. If you catastrophize, you expect some form of disaster or danger at every turn. “Shoulds” are disruptive to your emotional well-being. “Shoulds” consist of the rules you believe that you and others must live by. The problem is that you make these rules up yourself. Then you try to follow them as if they are laws. When you can’t or don’t, you feel as if you are a bad, disgusting, or inferior person. Your “shoulds” not only prevent you from having an accurate perception of yourself but of others as well. If they don’t live up to your list, you find them wilfully disobedient, uncaring, lazy, sloppy, stupid or lacking in compassion and love. Living with this invisible list of burdens is unnecessarily debilitating.
Here are a few examples of the “shoulds” that commonly plague people:
– I should be the perfect lover, friend, parent, teacher, student, or spouse.
– I should not make mistakes.
– I should look attractive.
– I should keep my emotions under control and not feel anger, jealousy or depression.
– I should not complain.
– I should not depend on others but take care of myself.
You may experience stress because of pain or discomfort.
The stress results from a real physical cause such as chronic pain. Accompanying the physical sensations are ones of an emotional nature.
You experience stress because you repress and refuse to accept important feelings such as hurt, anger or sadness.
Some people try to entirely deny any negative emotion, viewing such responses as if they were the very root of self-destruction. These people go to great lengths to keep from acknowledging their true feelings. They may demand constant attention, talk non-stop, overeat, drink excessively, exhibit defensive behaviour, or turn everything into a problem. If the negative emotion is acknowledged and experienced, its intensity and duration are reduced.
You experience stress because you’re exposed to a specific incident or particular stimulus that pushes your physical abilities or your mental or emotional capabilities beyond their limits.
Some people think of a stressful experience, or stress-stimulus, as a “prescription” that comes to them with the expectation they fill it. They see its expectation as a demand, but they feel that they don’t have the mental, emotional or physical ingredients to fill the prescription. This way of thinking can be significantly modified by hypnotherapy.
If you are female, you may experience stress as a product of PMS.
The physical and emotional symptoms of PMS commonly show themselves seven to 14 days prior to the onset of the menstrual period. The physical symptoms include sugar or salt craving, fatigue, headaches, weight gain, bloating and breast tenderness. The emotional symptoms include anxiety, confusion, temporary memory loss and mood swings from euphoria to despair. With hypnotherapy, PMS can be greatly reduced.
Setting up your new plan
Your overall objectives in regard to changing your behaviour are:
1. To reduce or eliminate negative stress in your life.
2. To incorporate new responses into your life.
3. To become a calmer, more effective, healthier person.
To accomplish them, you need to reprogram your subconscious so it can help you act on and experience new responses to old stimuli. You need to:
– Accept the repressed feelings are causing you to feel anxious and irritable and to feel freedom as you accept those feelings.
– Feel protected from outside pressures and stress.
– Incorporate new responses into your life.
Finally, it is wise to remember that if your emotions are not given relief from stress, your body will soon feel the results.