Hypnosis for Stress – How to get your stress levels under control

Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Does life feel pointless? Suffering burn-out? Hypnosis for stress relief is a targeted intervention to help you regain control of your stress levels and get your life back on track.

When your stress levels are lowered you feel empowered, your interest in life is re-ignited, and you can perform so much more competently. Not to mention your sleep will improve enormously.

Added to that is improved communication, better relationships, and higher self-esteem.

On this page we’ll look at 5 ways hypnosis can be used as a powerful method to stimulate the relaxation response in your body and equip you with the mental tools to confidently deal with the stresses in your life – now and in the future.

Let’s explore the way to deep inner calm – no matter what’s going on in your life…

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What is stress exactly?

Before we look at the ways we can use hypnosis for stress relief, we need to understand what we mean by the word stress.

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary (1) stress is defined as… “pressure or worry caused by problems in somebody’s life or by having too much to do.”

We all need problems to solve (that’s how we evolved as a species) but when we’re faced with too many problems or obligations, overwhelm ensues.

And with the pace of modern life always increasing – or so it seems – it’s no wonder that 79% of people reported feeling stressed and overwhelmed, especially at work. (2)

If your work load has become too demanding or the work environment toxic, the seeds are sown for ever-increasing stress. And if your home life and relationships also cause more distress, it feels like there’s no escape.

What are the symptoms of stress?

A short burst of stress gives you a quick shot of adrenaline. The heart pumps faster, blood pressure rises, getting you ready to take action. This can be enormously helpful in the right context. Think sabre-toothed tiger!

Indeed, these short ‘acute’ bursts of stress are good for you in that they can boost your immune system. How many of us watched Wim Hoff on TV telling people to jump into bathtubs filled with ice-cold water?

That sudden shock wakes up your internal organs, getting the blood and oxygen pumping faster round your system for a while before returning to a state of homeostasis – a base level of stress.

But long term ‘chronic’ stress is harmful. Instead of a short burst of adrenaline, another hormone takes centre stage – cortisol. Prolonged stress – with raised levels of cortisol in the blood – leads to permanently high blood pressure, a faster than normal pulse, inability to concentrate, and sleep problems, to name but a few of the symptoms of chronic stress.

This in turn can lead to worry and depression as you spend longer ruminating on all the stresses in your life.


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How hypnosis can lower your stress levels

If you’re suffering from stress, one of the first things a hypnotherapist will do is to teach you powerful relaxation exercises.

Once you are more relaxed, you’ll be able to see problems more objectively, free from emotional distortion. This is far more effective than simply trying to change your thinking as in CBT.

With hypnosis you learn to lower your stress level right where it starts – in the emotional brain (not in your thinking brain).

RELATED CONTENT: why you can’t just think yourself calm

By escaping the trance of heightened stress and anxiety, you’re able to access your Observing Self – the part of you that can stand back and assess things more rationally.

5 steps to get your stress levels back under control

So, let’s move on now to the 5 steps you can instigate that will help to lower your stress levels and regain a feeling of control in your life…

Step 1: assess your emotional needs

All humans are born with emotional needs. (3) It’s when these go unmet that stress levels start rising.

When that happens, the more emotional (limbic) brain takes over and we then operate on survival instincts rather than the ‘chief exec’ of the higher cortex.

Take a look at the poster below and ask yourself if unmet emotional needs are contributing to your stress levels…

hypnosis for stress: how to identify unmet emotional needs
Original Image: Human Givens Institute

For a more detailed assessment of emotional needs you can download an emotional needs audit that will help you identify areas in your life that cause undue stress.

The point is that when you start meeting your needs, stress levels are lowered. The brain switches back from survival instinct to higher cortex functioning and your cortisol levels also return to normal.

Step 2: resolve trauma, PTSD, and panic attacks

75% of people will resolve trauma naturally and are able to put the past behind them. But a quarter of us need extra help. Unresolved trauma will – like unmet needs – put the emotional brain in charge. It’s as if you’re always on high alert, hyper aware, ready for action just in case.

One of the ways we can use hypnosis for stress relief is through a powerful technique that de-traumatises the brain. Old, painful memories are laid to rest, allowing you to move on with your life.

If you think you’re suffering from PTSD induced stress find out how hypnotherapy can de-traumatise your brain

Step 3: break the worry cycle

With the survival brain in charge, ramping up adrenaline and cortisol levels, your thoughts will be distorted by the emotional intensity. You begin to think in ‘Oh my God’ terms. Everything is seen as a potential threat or disaster.

Worry and rumination become the name of the game and you spend inordinate amounts of time locked in a negative mindset. This is more than just pessimism and negative thinking. Fuelled by emotional energy and your imagination, these worries soon turn catastrophic.

This invariably leads to sleep disturbances with excessive REM sleep. Soon, the worry becomes clinical depression.

Find out more about the link between worry, dreaming and depression and how to break the cycle

Step 4: improve your sleep

There are a whole heap of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. The thing is that sleep is both a physical and emotional/mental need and experts say that we need about 8 hours a night.

We’ve already mentioned the link between worry and sleep problems, but what about learning how to unwind properly well before bedtime?

Learning how to switch off the ‘monkey mind’ is another way that hypnosis can be used to lower stress levels by improving the quality of your sleep. And we all know how much better we feel after a good night’s rest.

RELATED CONTENT: improve your sleep – starting tonight!

Step 5: Look after your body

But stress is not just a mental health problem. There are things you can do physically that can make a massive difference.

Zen Breathing is a technique that calms both body and mind – and is quite easy to learn. It’s rather like self-hypnosis. A few minutes’ practise everyday can make a massive difference to your general stress levels.

A good diet can also improve your energy and mood. It’s long been known that certain foods and supplements can boost the feel-good factor such as Omega 3. (4)

And physical exercise – especially getting out in nature – can bring those stress levels right the way down. That’s why I also provide nature therapy for people who love the great outdoors.

RELATED CONTENT: The stress-relieving benefits of nature therapy


I hope you’ve found this page useful and that you feel there are some things you can do right away to start lowering your stress levels.

If you’d like professional help take advantage of a free online discovery session with me where I’ll explain how I use hypnosis for stress relief.

Or if you want to get immediate help check out over 40 hypnosis downloads for stress management and start feeling better today.

relax deeply with hypnosis downloads

Notes and references:

(1) Oxford Learner’s Dictionary definition of stress stress_1 noun – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

(2) Stress in the UK – stats and facts Stress in the UK – statistics & facts | Statista

(3) Understanding emotional needs and resources – the Human Givens approach What is the human givens approach? | Human Givens

(4) How food affects mood and stress Food and mood: how do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing? | The BMJ

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