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The term 'stress' was first used by Hans Selye, a pioneering endocrinologist, in 1950. It has developed as a key notion to describe the state of tension people experience from the general demands of functioning within a complex society.

Stress can be caused by many things; most commonly through work pressure and compulsory deadlines, trauma, emotional conflict, frustration, change and even boredom.

Different people react differently to different stressors. Lifestyle, emotional state, relationships, work life, events, living environment and social support all become relevant when considering an individual's stress.

Stress is not good for our health. When the body responds to physical or psychological stressors, the chemicals adrenaline, noradrenaline,cortisol and other corticosteriod hormones are released from the adrenal cortex. These are hormones that can suppress the body's immune system and make us more vulnerable to infection.

It has been known for decades that stress is connected to chronic heart disease because stress contributes to changes in blood composition that in turn promotes atherosclerosis. However, it is not always easy to change our behaviour. The way we respond to a stressor can become 'automatic'. We may be aware that our automatic response is not helpful but we still feel powerless to change it. Some people explain behaviours as, "that's just the way I am," or "I just can't help it."

Hypnotherapy will help you to understand the way in which you respond to difficult situations in your life. Through developing awareness of your own reactions and using a combination of hypnosis and therapeutic interventions, you will increase cognitive, behavioural and physical resources enabling you to develop successful and effective coping strategies.

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