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The following article is published on the Hypnotherapy directory under 'expert articles.'

Does unwanted stress have a negative impact in your life? If you are reading this then the likely answer is, yes, it does. This article is to help you to recognise what may be happening in your life - either personally or to a friend or colleague, and discover how it is possible to make beneficial change.

Stress is defined by ISMA UK as, “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.”
Whilst many companies are aware and vigilant to the signs of stress in their employees and even have procedures in place to help cope with and prevent stress – it has to be said that some companies do not. A further problem is that many employees deliberately hide the signs of rising anxiety levels due to fears that an acknowledgement of stress may be negatively interpreted as an inability to manage their workload. This may include hiding their worries from loved ones and friends with the result that such behaviour may inrease a feeling of isolation.

You may already know someone suffering from stress. The Health & Safety Executive’s 2016 Statistics conclude that work related stress accounts for 37% of work related ill health and 45% of days lost in the period of 2015/16.

Some of the main issues people report regarding workplace stress include: -
  • The perceived pressures linked to workload, deadlines and expectations
  • A belief in insufficient support from line management and colleagues
  • Fears of change, pending mergers and acquisitions and new leadership styles
  • Conflicts between personal beliefs and corporate culture demands

The physical symptoms of stress may vary from person to person (and are discussed in my earlier article); they can include - raised heart rate, palpitations, perspiration, feeling a rush of adrenalin, irritability with colleagues, poor sleep patterns and tiredness, stomach upsets headaches and migraines.

When excessive pressure goes ignored or unnoticed over an extended period it can have a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. For some it can lead to depression and more serious physical conditions. Stress can also affect us psychologically and in our changing behaviours. The behavioural aspects that increase the build up of pressure include: a lack of assertiveness, procrastination and absolutism; perhaps these sound familiar?

The anxiety of constant worry about past or future events can lead to engaging in unwanted habits and addictions, sometimes in a misguided belief that they help us to cope; for example, the use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and chocolate etc. Some people engage (often unconsciously) in habits such as nail biting, skin picking, mouth chewing, teeth grinding, hair pulling without realising the link to their anxiety levels.

In managing workplace stress - a stress audit will help a person to develop a plan to enable he/she to recognise and identify problems and to make suitable behavioural changes to regain a sense of control in the daily routine. Managing stress is also about how we believe we interface with ‘our world’, with the most beneficial response being that we believe we do so in a satisfactory and productive way in which we are supported and can complete our tasks and achieve our goals... and find time for the importance of a work/life balance!

Effective stress management increases our self belief in our ability to cope and to develop ‘resilience.’ In simple language, resilience can best be achieved and built on sound foundations, when we have recognised and moderated our emotional self demands to a new understanding in harmony with our values and a position of control.

Sara Howard designs and delivers large scale training programmes in stress management, wellbeing and resilience to leading multinational companies. She also works with private individuals as an executive and lifestyle coach and hypno-psychotherapist.

Sara is available to see private clients in Highgate London, Wheatley Oxford, Kings Langley Herts. and Aston Clinton Bucks.

Please call Sara Howard to discuss how she can help you with your stress management plan. Tel – 07827 505389.

Are you concerned over your ongoing anxiety and stress levels? Perhaps you’re considering trying coaching or hypnotherapy but wonder about the costs involved and whether it will be the right process for you. By way of an alternative to private consultations, I also offer taster and group workshops in a variety of popular subject areas including April’s taster sessions in hypnotherapy and workshops in managing anxiety and stress. My workshops are all solution focused, and that means they are designed to enable participants with the tools and understanding to manage the symptoms of anxiety and stress to achieve their desired goals. After all, when we achieve our goals our sense of wellbeing increases and our new perspective of calm is then reflected in the ease of our communication and better relationships.

Read More

Preparing for your first hypnotherapy session is an exciting opportunity towards beneficial change.   For many people, their presenting symptoms may have been long term and sometimes a new event has served as the catalyst for change (for example, new career, partner, marriage).  It is your own motivation and desire that plays an important part in enabling the success of the hypnotherapeutic suggestion process.  
The subject is how we can overcome a habit using hypnotherapy - even when it's a seemingly ingrained and unbeatable habit that we've been doing for many years, and it's also about how much more motivated and enterprising we can become without it.
Clients come to me for help with many different habits and issues having a negative effect on their life or work performance. For example, smoking and comfort eating, severe blushing or increased respiration during public speaking; general anxiety when dealing with difficult people, even a fear or phobia of certain situations like failing a big goal - maybe one their boss has set. The answer as to why this is happening, isn't always in conscious awareness and it may be related to an incident that happened long ago in the past.
Today’s unwanted habit is a ‘stop smoking’ case study is about ‘Mr X,’ who like many of us had a busy lifestyle and who held a mistaken belief that he needed to smoke to manage his stress levels. We will also look at beliefs and how these influence us.


Perhaps you’re considering whether to try hypnotherapy to help improve an aspect of your life such as confidence and public speaking or maybe you want to gain control of unwanted stress or old habits like smoking or comfort eating. Are you wondering what to expect from the hypnotherapy experience?  Sometimes people have preconceived ideas such as, “will I fall asleep ...will I remember anything ... will I lose control”. Let’s demystify the process a little. The object here is both to discuss and to clarify a few points.

First, the object of hypnotherapy is to use suggestion as a means to assist the client towards their desired goal and to a beneficial outcome.  The client doesn’t lose control and is not placed out of their comfort zone or into a state of sleep.  Suggestion is often undertaken during the general course of conversation when a person is fully conscious, or during a more relaxed state of trance when our consciousness is resting and suggestion can be made to our unconscious.  
Does Stress Impact on Your Daily Life ?   How Hypnotherapy and Coaching Can Help You to Cope

I often hear people describe their experience of stress as a feeling of emotional upset and pressure which increases until it becomes a sensation in being out of control.  For example, what may begin as an anxiety about a pending situation can build up over time when the signs are ignored.  Typical descriptions of unwanted levels of pressure include physical symptoms of an increased heart rate, palpitations, heat flushes and visible blushing, headaches, digestive problems, skin disorders, increased blood pressure, IBS – to name but a few.  Most people have heard the simple explanation of the ‘fight or flight response’ and the physical feeling we experience as a reaction to stress. However, few people realise the extended implications of daily anxiety and stress on our health and extended wellbeing.