As we move into the last few months of the year, we are also coming into some of the most fun-filled, yet stressful times. Halloween brings a great deal of anxiety for parents wanting to make sure their little trick-or-treaters do not ingest anything that would be harmful. Thanksgiving, while a lovely family tradition, is often charged with unpleasant family dynamics, not to mention the stress the cook is under. Will the turkey be ready on time? Will it be too dry? Will everyone get along? Will the gravy be to everyone’s liking? Then just a few weeks later it’s Christmas, then the New Year.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “stress can be defined as the brain’s response to any demand.” We all know that many things can trigger a stress response, including change. As the NIMH says, “Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived. They may be recurring, short-term, or long-term and may include things like commuting to and from school or work every day, traveling for a yearly vacation, or moving to another home. Changes can be mild and relatively harmless, such as winning a race, watching a scary movie, or riding a rollercoaster. Some changes are major, such as marriage or divorce, serious illness, or a car accident. Other changes are extreme, such as exposure to violence, and can lead to traumatic stress reactions.”
A bit of research led me to Web MD which stated that, “In a national 2004 study published in Circulation, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University School of Medicine examined 53 million U.S. death certificates from 1973 to 2001. They discovered an overall increase of 5% more heart-related deaths during the holiday season. When researchers looked at individual years, they found varying increases in cardiac deaths for every holiday period they studied.”
How anyone handles stress is very individual. Some of the physiological effects stress can trigger are hair loss, acne and heart attack. Clearly, being able to reduce and control your stress response is important. Reducing stress and or avoiding stress entirely with natural treatments such as self-hypnosis can help reduce some of the most common stress related symptoms. Stress reduction through self-hypnosis could lead to the most joyful holiday season ever.
Having self-hypnosis as a tool to get through the last quarter of the year with all its major holidays might provide the much-needed answer to helping you sail through the holidays stress-free.