When you turn on the TV or check your newsfeed, chances are you’ll be hit with some sort of a negative story. Although statistically, violent crimes in American are falling, we’ve probably never felt so much tension and anxiety about our safety.
According to the Pew Research Center, less than half of all violent crimes in the US are reported to the police. Moreover, those that are reported, are mostly not solved. The awareness of that can cause a sense of unease and insecurity. People in America are increasingly worried about the effect violence has on them and their families.
Even if you don’t experience violence yourself, you cannot deny it exists in our society—in many different forms, ranging from physical violence to verbal aggression and intolerance. This can influence your mental health and well-being. It’s a constant source of stress and anxiety. So, what can you do to protect yourself?
What Does Stress Do to You?
Stress is an emergency response that is initially supposed to protect us. However, when it goes chronic, it starts to destroy us.
I like to imagine my body as a more or less well-managed household. At the heart of the house is the kitchen, its centerpiece being the stove. This symbolic stove has 7 burners, representing different body’s systems (urinary tract, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system). In ideal circumstances, each of these burners would always be on at a low to medium heat. How cozy! These are my days of calm with no stress and turbulence when I can just enjoy life.
Most people’s lifestyle and circumstances, however, don’t support such a relaxing picture of inner bliss. We are often continuously exposed to stress; feeling under attack from all sides. Going back to the house metaphor, the stove all of a sudden has all of the burners turned to maximum. This is a condition that can’t be maintained. Surely, something will melt sooner or later! The digestive system is usually the first to suffer. Other body systems are not immune either. Stress affects almost every organ; brain, heart, immune system, reproductive system, and so on.
There is another thing about stress. It doesn’t matter how big or small the stressful situation is. The body will produce a similar reaction whether you are about to be attacked by a lion or you’re just arguing with your neighbor about the way you parked your car.
How to Handle Stress Better?
You first need to recognize and admit that these days, your body is under an unnatural amount of physical and emotional stress. The best strategy is to deal with stress immediately when it happens and bring your body back into balance.
Do the following:
- Don’t ignore early signs of stress. Learn about your stress signals. Does your neck stiffen? Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Do you have problems sleeping?
- When you feel under stress, try talking to yourself in a calm and logical way to inject some more positivity into the situation. Say things like “I can handle this” or “I’m safe.”
- Focus on your breathing. If your breathing is quick and shallow, take a few deep breaths. This will help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for a more chilled mode of existence.
- If you can, talk to someone. Talking about things that bother you is great for stress relief.
- Remember, stress is contagious. Don’t project stress onto others and don’t take on other people’s stress. When in a conversation, talk in a gentle and calm manner, which will affect both you and the person you’re engaging with.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help?
Although hypnotherapy can’t reduce the violence that is around us, it can help reduce our stress and anxiety. Studies show that hypnotherapy can be very effective when tackling stress and anxiety.,
Hypnotherapy can work well for reducing unwanted fear, panic, and uncertainty. It’s usually used alongside other therapies, such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In fact, most experts now recommend an integrated approach for treating stress and anxiety where more than one modality is used. Hypnotherapy is considered an important part of this holistic approach, but can also be used on its own.
It’s important that you work with a trained professional that will adjust the treatment according to your individual needs. The hypnotherapist can also teach you techniques that you can use in your daily life to reduce stress and live better.
You shouldn’t live in fear! Make sure you do all you can to bring your balance back.
 Alladin, A. (2016). Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Accessing and Healing Emotional Injuries for Anxiety Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 59(1), 24-46.
 Daitch, C. (2018). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Hypnosis as Treatment Methods for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 61(1), 57–69