Stress Management

Greater Boston Hypnosis

For an appointment call 617-964-4800

Stress is a part of life. It is actually a part of the nature of all things, not just people, but for all things both living and inanimate. Your automobile undergoes stress every time its engine is turned on (or even when it is simply sitting in the driveway), but responsible maintenance of the vehicle minimizes the effects of stress and results in its longer serviceability and smoother running. It might seem a little crass to compare a human being to an automobile, but the fact is that all things undergo stress and the secret to effectively handling it is good management. Yes, all of us need to be good managers if we are minimize the negative impact of stress on both our body and mind. In many cases, the result of good stress management is not merely the reduction of the negative impact of stress but its conversion or transformation into positive stimuli for personal growth, achievement, happiness, and well-being.

Anything can be a source of stress: the anticipation of meeting a new acquaintance or an old one that you haven’t seen in a long time, job or business related pressures, the stress of marriage, the stress of being single, the self-inflicted pressure of performing well at sports or at achieving some personal goal, the stress of trying to remain healthy, the stress of fighting off a disease. These are only a few of the many stresses of life. Stress tends to create disorder. As we pressure ourselves to feel or react in the way that we believe that we should the result can be imbalance in our lives. Disproportionate energy is devoted to mitigating the stress and this may only set in motion a snowball effect by adding still additional stress. Two fundamental approaches are necessary to the management of stress. The first is achieving a kind of psychological or emotional balance or centering that enables us to better handle the stresses of life with greater equanimity. The second is learning practical skills at dealing with the particular things or issues in our lives which are causing the excessive stress reaction.

In his best-selling book, The Relaxation Response, Herbert Benson, MD showed how many of the traditional practices such as yoga and meditation have a significant and measurable impact on all indicators of physiologic relaxation including respiratory and heart rate, oxygen consumption, muscle tension, and blood pressure. By the daily practice of a very simple technique that he derived from observing the traditional relaxation and meditative methods Dr. Benson showed how anyone can easily introduce the benefits of the relaxation response into their lives. The progressive relaxation technique that is often utilized in hypnotic induction also very effectively produces a profound relaxation. However, the goal in the application of hypnotherapy for stress reduction is to reduce stress in the midst of the stress causing stimuli that are generated from the particular types troublesome situations dealt with in the hypnotherapy session. While the techniques which activate the relaxation response are highly recommended, in hypnotherapy the goal is to intervene directly in the activity of the stressful situation by short-circuiting certain factors that trigger the stress. All of the skills of the hypnotherapist, including creative visualization, metaphor, life reframing, and direct suggestion, to mention a few, are used to help reach the balanced state of calm that is essential for the effective management of stress.

The other part of stress reduction and stress management is very practical but no less important to the successful application of hypnotherapy. If a student is experiencing stress in relation to his school work or with testing, and it happens that this same student posses very poor study skills, then getting him only to relax would be a shortsighted approach. While a more relaxed attitude may well help the student’s performance in school to some degree it is highly unlikely that the improvement would be significant because the underlying issue of poor study habits would not have been addressed. In this case, is would be appropriate to determine the deficiencies in the student’s study habits and reach a clear understanding of which skills need improving. During the hypnosis session, the positive patterns of study behavior to replace the negative habits would be reinforced. Hence, performance is closely allied with stress reduction: stress can both interfere with good performance as well as be the result of bad performance. Sometimes it is difficult to discern which cause of stress came first: the fear of not performing well or simply not performing well. However, in some cases, as in the case of our student, it is clear that the skill and habits associated with the performance itself need to be a top priority.

Surrounding Communities

Integral Hypnosis is conveniently located in Newton, MA near the Mass Pike and Route 128 and is within a 1/2 hour drive of the following Greater Boston, MetroWest, North Shore and South Shore communities: