The Best Stress Relief

by Frances O'Brien, C.Ht
(Tarzana, CA)

Did you know that stress and hypnosis are related? Many of us think hypnosis is what we see in movies or stage shows, that someone can take over your mind and make you do things against your will. But, really, hypnosis is a very natural state of mind. It’s the alpha brainwave state -- between beta (wakefulness) and delta (sleep). You pass through the hypnotic state every time you fall asleep and every time you wake up.

When you’re in this state, you’re more suggestible, more easily influenced. So, it’s not a good idea to listen to news or watch upsetting TV shows when you go to bed, because you’re more likely to be influenced by them. It is a good idea to think about good things or write positive affirmations, because, then, they will likely influence you.

You’re also in alpha or hypnosis when you cry at a movie. For the time you watch it, you give your mind over to that story, like it’s happening to you. Same thing if you’ve had an argument with someone that ended badly, and you keep going over it. The argument is done in reality, but it’s still happening in your mind.

In fact, most of us are in hypnosis a lot of the time. Stress also occurs in a hypnotic state. An event occurs to which we react emotionally, and we conflate the event with our emotions about it. They seem to be the same thing, and we believe that, as long as the event is true, we have no choice but to be stressed about it. Sadly, we can’t always control what happens in the world around us, but, fortunately, we can have an effect on the way we respond to it.

One of the best things you can do to release stress is simply to acknowledge that the event and your emotions are two separate things. Once you do that, you can make other choices to bring relief, like taking long, slow, deep breaths or speaking phrases that comfort you, like: “I am safe,” or “All is really well with me.” Perhaps you can look at a picture of someone you love or breathe in a fragrance that uplifts you, like orange essential oil.

However you decide to proceed, you will be empowered. Instead of being a victim of whatever the event was, you are a victor.

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