As we head towards Summer our work-loads might increase as we prepare to head off for a well-earned break. If you find yourself working longer hours or feeling you are on an endless treadmill, you could look to ways of helping you feel calmer, brighter and happier, even before you get to your holiday.
As a solution focused hypnotherapist and member of the Cornish business community one of the most common areas that people come to see me about is anxiety, and in particular stress at work. Workplace stress can manifest itself in a variety of different ways – not just in the office but also at home and socially. People who struggle with stress in the office may find themselves angrier than they'd like, struggling with sleep patterns, perhaps becoming more insular, or restricted in their thinking.
There are parts of our brains that are very adept at dealing with perceived threats. We have evolved to be quite sensitive to danger, and our reactions to stress are an evolutionary coping mechanism - they are there to help us survive. Sometimes this a very good thing - we are generally quite good risk managers. Sometimes however these responses become disproportionate and can be unhelpful in our day to day lives.
Disproportionate stress is caused by negative thinking. Every negative thought we have ends up in what I call a “stress bucket.” As the levels in the bucket increase so our primitive responses work harder. They are just trying to help but they can become less and less appropriate and actually make things worse until eventually we find ourselves struggling to keep on top of things.
Fortunately it’s not the events in our lives which end up in the stress bucket. It is our thinking in response to those events - and this is good news because this is something thing we can do something about. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps people focus their thought energy on things they want, more than what they don't want. This helps to empty the stress bucket and get us back in control.
A key part of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is the safe use of a trance state, which is a natural way to reduce stress so that after a number of sessions people can start to feel better able to cope with life. And trance is natural - we do it all the time - out for a stroll, walking the dog, driving, listening to music, having a great conversation. Even complex work tasks can induce a positive state of trance.
If we can combine little bits of positive thinking with regular spells of relaxation - however brief - it makes for a powerful combination which engages the positive, subconscious parts of our brain. This helps to improve creative thinking, decision-making, productivity and confidence - without us really having to try. This helps us get the most out of our work, but also make the most of our time off.