Dealing with stress and learning to relax are two reasons I often see clients in my hypnotherapy practice. From daily life stresses like work issues and family relationships to dealing with major traumas like sexual assault, car wrecks and returning from war, people need tools to manage the stresses they are experiencing in their lives.
Amishi Jha, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies stress-fighting techniques to help military personnel has said that "The mind needs support - we call it 'mental armor" - just as much as the body does" She notes that "Research shows it's possible to cushion yourself against stress and the tactics we're using with soldiers also apply to real folks and more common types of anxiety."
Stress is dangerous. Stress over time causes anxiety and persistent anxiety can actually kill neurons in the brain dealing with decision-making and memory. This destruction is so damaging it is even visible on brain scans.
Among the coping techniques new PTSD science is teaching is how to deal with stress. The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are using the practice of mindfulness meditation with military personnel to help stress resilience. Results have shown that Marines were more alert, exhibited better memory and less reactive to stressors after just eight weeks of meditation training.
If you have tried meditation before and found you could not do it or felt too busy to meditate, here is a simple technique the Marines use even in a war zone. Sit upright while focusing on your breathing. Then begin to pay to attention to a physical sensation such as the feel of your chest moving or air in your nostrils. When your mind wanders, just note the disruption and then return your attention to the physical sensation. Some people meditate for half an hour or more each day, others find that it is easier to simply meditate for five to ten minutes at a time for a number of times a day.
Hypnotherapy is another great tool to deal with stress and help you relax. A qualified hypnotherapist can help you learn techniques for mindfulness so you can BE WELL.