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  • Jennifer McLeod

5 Steps to Ease Stress

I was out walking in the woods with my dog Marley the other day near Glasgow. It was a lovely day and we met some other dogs on the way. A little further on in the walk we came across two other large dogs. I popped Marley on the lead and the owner of one of the dogs popped hers on the lead and held on to her dog as it was much bigger than Marley and barking at him.

Meanwhile the other dog came running towards Marley and before I knew it had him pinned down. Without hesitation and strength I didn’t know I had, I pulled the dog off Marley. With my height of just over 5 feet it was quite remarkable for me! For that brief moment though I was filled with adrenaline. The strength I needed went to the muscles where it was required for that short period of time. After that all was well with dogs and owners.

We can all have times where something happens and we need to take physical action, when faced with threat and this brief adrenaline surge comes in very handy. Many years ago in caveman times this adrenaline surge was required much more often where faced with danger. They either had to fight or get ready to run.

This is what’s called the fight or flight response. But what happens when you are in daily situations in life where you are feeling stressed and these same feelings occur? Yes we have evolved now as humans and we are extremely unlikely to have to run from wild animals or kill them for survival in Glasgow. However, the same feelings can occur if you are feeling stressed and anxious, as the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between real or perceived danger.

Therefore, what happens is you are then filled with these stress hormones and instead these can manifest in physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, fast heart rate or shallow fast breath, depleted energy or depression. People who are highly stressed can sometimes seem particularly over sensitive or aggressive. Nowadays, a lot of us don’t take enough exercise to burn off the effects of the fight or flight response and this stress can build up inside.

There are many ways to help deal with stress and hypnotherapy is one way which could help to reduce stress. Using hypnosis, I work with clients and teach them relaxation techniques and give them tools to assist them after they have left their hypnotherapy session.

On follow up hypnotherapy sessions we also look to see if there are any other underlying issues which may be having an effect on their lives and work on these.

In the meantime, here is a short 5 minute exercise that you can do to help you to relax:

  • Find yourself a nice quiet place to sit down where you won’t be disturbed

  • Close your eyes.

  • Take some nice long deep breaths in through the nose and out through the nose.

  • When you are breathing in you may want to imagine a balloon inflating and then, as you breathe out just imagine that balloon deflating. If you like, you could make the balloon your favourite colour.

  • Just focus on your breathing in and out for the next 5 minutes.

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