It’s interesting that Stress Awareness Month has been held every April Since 1992.
Even though its focus is on increasing the public’s awareness about stress and its health implications, we still need to keep bringing more awareness to this chronic health issue after all these years.
If anything, it seems like there are more and more articles, websites, help lines, etc on this very prevalent topic.
No doubt, people experienced stress in various forms long before our so called “modern culture” has, yet we are now more entrenched in environments that have us feeling overwhelmed and out of control of situations than our ancestors ever did.
And, most often, they had more communal support as well as consistent physical activities that allowed much of their stressful feelings and thoughts to be released naturally.
Our modern lifestyles of being over booked, over cautious, over worked, as well as over obsessed with screen time and social media, has definitely led us to being quite overwhelmed and with not enough ways to naturally release it as our ancestors may have had.
Being stressed doesn’t feel good, yet because it has become so common in so many peoples’ lives now, it seems almost normal.
Yet too much stress is damaging. It has numerous negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
All the demands, deadlines, and hassles can fill up a day, be all-consuming, and leave no room for any downtime, calmness, or joy. It can feel draining and exhausting.
People experiencing chronic stress often get sick more frequently with a lowered immune response and can be the underlying causes of serious health concerns, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, weight issues and more.
Whew! Not a pretty picture at all.
Additionally, this past year of the pandemic has certainly allowed more stress and its cousin “anxiety” to find their way into many more areas of our lives.
As this is also Emotional Overeating Awareness Month-you might begin to see the connection of how stress and anxiety can feed right into this behavior.
What is emotional overeating?
It’s using food to fulfill an emotional need.
Being bored, tired, anxious, overwhelmed, even happy can lead to turning to food as comfort or as a “filling the void.”
It’s not always a negative, but if it becomes a consistent way of dealing with any emotions/feelings, then that in itself can lead to negative feelings about oneself.
Feelings of guilt, lack of control, poor self esteem and even cycles of moods may all perpetuate the behavior.
Studies are showing that emotional overeating is increasing and this Awareness Month is a great opportunity to reflect on how you might be using food to quell some of your anxiety, stresses and hectic-ness of life.
This may be especially relevant now—even as we’re seeing more light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, with all we have gone through as a culture/society with the pandemic, politics, and the vaccines, how food may have become a main source of comfort.
If that might be speaking to you, guilt is not needed.
What is needed is an honest look, an awareness, to see if this may be an area you need support with.
Awareness is the first step to making any changes.
To add on to the health areas of awareness this month, it’s also IBS Awareness Month.
IBS-irritable bowel syndrome-is a disease of the digestive system. It is fairly common and affects anywhere from 10-15% of the general population.
The exact cause is unknown, yet, it is known that stress and anxiety exacerbate its effects.
Stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation and bloating can be the uncomfortable symptoms that are experienced by anyone dealing with this syndrome.
Again-stress and anxiety play a contributing role.
With all this awareness on Stress, Emotional Overeating and IBS this month, it may seem a bit depressing!
Yes, if we only focus on the problems, it is.
The good news is that hypnosis/hypnotherapy is an excellent modality for getting to the other side of any of these “problems.”
It’s the connector-from awareness to solutions!
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to bring you into a relaxed state of mind, where you can turn your focus within without all the distractions of the conscious mind.
I like to call this trance like state, simply an “inner focus state.”
It’s really a natural state we go into often, such as when reading an engrossing story, watching a movie and really feeling all that the actors are feeling, and even when we are in a fully engaged state of creativity.
For managing stress and anxiety, this inner focused state, teaches your mind and body how to relax and let go.
You get to tap into your subconscious mind to access your own best solutions and strategies on how to find better ways to handle the situations that are stressful. Your subconscious mind is more available to take on and utilize the tools and techniques you learn from your hypnotherapist to support you.
For emotional overeating, hypnosis helps you to access your motivations-why you “need” to eat to deal with emotions and assists you in finding ways to retrain your mind and body in establishing other more healthy ways of having your needs met.
And, for IBS-hypnosis helps with calming the digestive system because the subconscious deals with our bodily functions. While in the inner focused state, you get to tap into your motivation to eat best for this condition, to keep the stress levels down and to learn how to soothe discomfort sensations in the body.
This is just a very brief overview of how hypnosis/hypnotherapy can be such a support, not only during this month of many “awareness-es” but at anytime you are wanting to use your powerful mind to make desired changes for your health and well being.
Check out the Breakthrough the Challenge of Change free phone session if you’re ready to tackle any of these or other areas of your life.