April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress Awareness Month aims to increase public awareness about why we are so stressed and what we can do about it. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. In light of the situation that has been unfolded across the world in the last couple of months, that figure could very well be revised upwards.
Stress is one of the biggest, ongoing public health challenges of our time, but it rarely gets as much attention as physical health concerns. Stress is a significant contributing factor to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Unmanaged stress is also linked to physical health problems including inflammation, digestive issues including IBS, sleep problems and heart disease.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), one of the UK’s largest registering bodies for hypnotherapists, believes that the key to managing stress is to gain understanding of what is causing us personal stress and to learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us. The Stress Management Society invites us to pick an action each day over the course of April to support our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. The activities suggested range from strengthening social connections with a friend, to taking a walk, or tidying up your home environment.
By focusing on areas of our lives that we do have control over, and taking steps to foster strong social connections we can reduce our stress levels. Exercising helps relieve physical tension which also contributes to stress. If you are still experiencing high levels of stress, even after adopting lifestyle measures, some sessions with a hypnotherapist may be helpful to teach you different skills and new, more helpful ways of thinking and viewing the world.
After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident and relaxed in situations that had been challenging previously. Many people report that they feel calmer and have more clarity of thought after hypnotherapy and are therefore able to make decisions more easily. Those who have experienced manifestations of stress anxiety such as disturbed sleep often find that they sleep better after hypnosis sessions and as a result are able to function more effectively.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many of the nearly 2,000 therapists that are registered with the NCH have moved to offering online therapy. You can find a licenced, qualified practitioner who is able to assist you by using the NCH Therapists Finder.