Fairfield County Hypnosis, LLC


GENERAL CAUSES OF STRESS


YOU HAVE INHERITED A PROCLIVITY FOR STRESS

You learned how to show affection (or how not to show affection) from your parents. You learned certain public behavior by watching one or both of your parents in social situations. And you learned that certain situations most often produce, at least in your home, certain predictable patterns of behavior.

Your stress is inherited. You have learned to behave in the same way as someone you admired or depended on. This is called “modeling.” Just as fears often “run in the family,” so also do stressful reactions.

Additionally, stress that has been transferred from parent to child is sometimes intensified by the inherent physical makeup of the individual. Two children may both exhibit stress when exposed to the same stimulus—a noisy environment, for example—but one child may react to it more severely because of individual inborn differences.


YOU EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE YOU HAVE A TYPE A PERSONALITY

The definition of a type A individual fits you if you are:

• Prone to over achievement
• In the habit of forcing oneself to work toward unrealistic goals
• Consistently competitive
• Constantly aware of time and prone to rushing
• Quick to exhibit anger
• Cynical

This list may seem to characterize a dismal individual, one who is hopelessly anchored in undesirable behavior. However, some of the most interesting people you know may fit into this category and seem to function quite successfully. What may not be evident is the core of the Type A’s problem. He or she is addicted to stress. The stress constitutes a lifestyle and acts as a precursor of illness, as has been shown by recent studies linking Type A personalities and heart attacks. The hostility factor coupled with cynicism are the two key elements that make this group more susceptible than others.


YOU EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE OF FEARS, AWFULIZING, AND “SHOULDS.”

Focusing on the nightmares of life or catastrophizing, worrying about the worst possible alternative, can produce continual stress. If you catastrophize or awfulize, you expect some form of disaster or danger at every turn. If your sister’s husband and your neighbor’s husband leave their wives to marry younger women with whom they work, you figure it is only a matter of time before your husband extends his office hours.When you experience any pain or discomfort, it is magnified. A benign cyst is a deadly tumor, indigestion is food poisoning, a regular evaluation process by your employer forecasts the loss of your job.

Shoulds are nearly as disruptive to your emotional well-being. Shoulds consist of the rules you believe that you and others must live by. The trouble is, you make these rules up yourself. Then you try to follow them as if they are laws, and when you can’t or don’t, you feel as if you are a bad, disgusting, inferior person. You punish yourself with condemnation.

Here are a few of the shoulds that commonly plague people.

• I should be the perfect lover, friend, parent, teacher, student or spouse.
• I should not make mistakes.
• I should look attractive
• I should keep my emotions “under control” and not feel anger, jealousy, or depression.
• I should not complain.
• I should not depend on others, but take care of myself.

You probably have some of your own favorite shoulds you could ass to this list. Unfortunately, your shoulds not only prevent you from having an accurate perception of yourself, but of others as well. You think that the people you know should behave according to your list of rules, and if they do not, they are willfully disobedient, uncaring, lazy, sloppy, stupid, or lacking in compassion and love. Living with this invisible list of burdens is unnecessarily debilitating.


YOU MAY EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE OF INESCAPABLE PAIN OR DISCOMFORT

This stress results from a real physical cause, such as chronic pain. Accompanying the physical sensations are ones of an emotional nature. When you experience any chronic disorder, it is also common for you to begin to feel “set apart” or isolated. You may feel searing guilt or anger for always being the “one who suffers,” and eventually you may feel extremely depressed by your helplessness in the situation.


YOU EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE YOU REPRESS AND REFUSE TO ACCEPT IMPORTANT FEELINGS SUCH AS HURT, ANGER, OR SADNESS

Some people try to entirely deny any negative emotion, viewing such responses as if they were the very root of self-destruction. These people will go to great lengths to keep from acknowledging their true feelings. If the negative emotion is instead acknowledged and experienced, its intensity and duration are reduced.

Assume for a moment that you lose someone close to you through death. Your sadness is accompanied by depression. But you give yourself permission to mourn and put aside life for awhile. You reflect upon the past and evaluate the future. You sort out your feelings, rearrange them, and feel sorry for yourself. While you are doing this, other energies and emotions are allowed to rest. Even though you may not realize it, your mourning is releasing a major cause of stress that could, if repressed, become an influential factor in your life.

As a further example, imagine that a husband is irritated by his wife’s devotion to her career and her careful attention to job-related plans, procedures, and details. At first, the husband is merely annoyed and doesn’t exhibit any frustration. Next, he begins to feel as if her job is in direct competition with him. Then, finally, he decides—still without revealing his feelings overtly—that he is definitely number two and his wife’s job is number one. At home, he continually feels under stress. Every phone call is an outside threat to his private life. Every business meeting his wife attends seems to be a pleasurable outing for her from which he is excluded. Instead of facing up to his perception of what is happening to his marriage and discussing his feelings with his wife, he allows his hurt to accumulate and intensify. This produces an extremely stressful situation that constitutes a domestic volcano, ever-ready to erupt.


YOU EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE YOU ARE EXPOSED TO A SPECIFIC INCIDENT OR PARTICULAR STIMULUS THAT TAXES YOUR PHYSICAL ABILITIES OR YOUR MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL CAPABILITIES BEYOND THEIR LIMITS

It may be some portion of your job stands unfilled, or it may be a part of your marriage that is not functioning effectively. Perhaps other’s expectations for your attention or affection seem too high.

Your stress may have several combined causes. When examined individually, they seem insignificant; yet, if they occur all at once, they seem monumental. Murphy’s Law is hard at work when you first learn that your car won’t start. Just when you thought you were going to have to find another mode of transportation, the engine turned over. When you reach your office, you found that your secretary had not finished photocopying an important report. Then the lunch date you had scheduled with a prospective investor was canceled without reason, and your afternoon routine was interrupted by requests and calls that seemed, for the most part, trivial. When you returned home, your son told you that he needed a ride to basketball practice. Your husband’s plane was more that an hour late arriving, and by the time you both pulled up in front of a local restaurant for dinner, you felt as if you were a time bomb.


YOU EXPERIENCE STRESS BECAUSE YOU HAVE A DIETARY DEFICIENCY

Certain foods may cause your emotions to soar one minute and hit bottom the next. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol are closely associated with stress. A lack of Vitamin B complex greatly contributes to irritability. The foods high in B complex vitamins are found in whole grains, brewer’s yeast, liver, and legumes. If you are under severe pressure and you have poor eating habits or a “hit and miss” system for balancing your diet, the stress that you would normally feel will be magnified. It is not easy to determine which comes first—the dietary deficiency or the stress—because stress causes the depletion of B complex vitamins and the lack of B complex produces stress.


IF YOU ARE FEMALE, YOU MAY EXPERIENCE STRESS AS A PRODUCT OF PMS

Current estimates show that 33 to 50 percent of American women between the ages of 18 and 45 experience Premenstrual Syndrome. This amounts to between ten to fifteen million women. The physical and emotional symptoms of PMS commonly show themselves seven to fourteen days prior to the onset of the menstrual period. The physical symptoms include sugar or salt craving, fatigue, headaches, weight gain, bloating, and breast tenderness. The emotional symptoms include anxiety, confusion, temporary memory loss, and mood swings from euphoria to despair.


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