CONTROL and BEAT STRESS
Ensure you have full details of client’s symptoms and already have discussed coping strategies. This is so they can choose their own strategy from the suggestions.
Tell them they can choose to use them all more or less.
Take client into trance or ask them to close their eyes and listen to your voice as you slowly and gently…just talk…to them.
As you, listen to the sound of my voice, sitting comfortably in the chair, nothing to say or do just sit and relax. This is your time…simply enjoy these few moments of peace and tranquillity and allow yourself to let go even more and…relax more and more as you continue to follow my voice…Let your mind grow clear…free…peaceful…Now that’s nice isn’t it. Relaxing….letting go….Now…allow yourself to drift even deeper into a pleasant relaxed state of uncluttered freedom…Now…drift even deeper and follow my voice which will continue to relax you even more…Now…as you continue to drift…relaxing…you are beginning to realise…that minute by minute…hour by hour…day by day…we become better and more able to handle any and all situations that used to cause that feeling of stress or anxiety. That’s right…you are doing that really well now…those old feelings you used to get in those situations are replaced by these new feelings as you use your new coping strategy.
You know that there is no need for us to develop irrational behaviour, no need for shouting….Impatience…carrying on out of character. No need for habit forming substances…yes…you know what l am referring to…don’t you now.
You know that feeling or being irritable with yourself or others actually does nothing to reduce the tension and can make it worse…doesn’t it.
When we shout or scream at people…this behaviour carries with it the threat of harm in some form to people we might actually like or love, they take the brunt of it…don’t they. Yes it is often the ones we love and who love us the most who get the brunt of it and that’s not right…is it?
In addition you resolve not to seek false support from alcohol or tobacco or even drugs…for you know deep inside you that these will only add to the misery or injury in an already strained body and mind.
You realise and know now that the danger is not from the stressful experience; it is from your own reaction to it, yes your own reaction to it
Stress is precipitated by any change in our life situation, whether that is a negative or positive change. Change is a fact of life, it is the only constant in our life and we have the choice of how we deal with these situations…yes that’s right we have a choice and you know that now…don’t you?
The key to handling stress and tension is in recognising our own stress signals…then taking some positive steps.
You can recognise some of these signals if you know what to look for…and you do now…don’t you? Then take some positive steps. Keep a close watch on your own signals… which might be recognised…perhaps as having sleepless nights, difficulty eating or loss of appetite a lump in your throat, lack of concentration, weight loss, and headaches. Perhaps you are wishing for unreasonable things such as, if only I had a better job, if only my boss understood me, if only I had more money. Maybe you developed a nervous tick or increased your alcohol intake…More and more you begin to see your own stress signals…and then start to take counter act them.
At the first sign of your stress signals you resolve to withdraw a bit and take stock of what is causing them.
Become aware of the source[s] of this stress
You make time to take a close and critical look at your relationship with people, both important and seemingly unimportant people in your life. You include your family, your friends, colleagues, neighbours and even casual acquaintances in your observations.
Find yourself looking inwards and examining yourself.
Ask yourself some hard and searching questions such as…do I make unreasonable demands upon myself or others around me?
Am I inflexible in my decisions? Am I to rigid?
You realise perhaps that you are! You now know you can minimise the stress by changing your own thoughts and actions.
Learning to accept and a more reasonable view of your limitations, reasoning with yourself now, knowing no one will get shot or die by your new thinking.
You are learning to be realistic in your responses to others and those old stress related instances. You are able to laugh at some of those old situations now as humour is a great pick me up.
Step outside the circle and look back in, step further back and look again, observe your own participation. It wasn’t really that bad was it?
It will soon be a memory and you will be onto something else, no one was hurt.
You can endeavour to change the situation by talking to and negotiating with the individuals concerned that maybe causing the situation or contributing to the stress.
If the situation cannot be changed, simply accept the fact as life is to short to bother about these situations. Accept your part in it and get on with something new. Sure it would be nice if everything was as you wanted it but life is not like that, so accept it and move along.
Now as you continue to relax you are beginning to understand and realise that there is no written or unwritten law of the universe that says…you must continue to react to react to the situation as you used to do.
You have a choice now and the choice might not always be attractive, the choice may in fact be a compromise or the lesser of two evils, but you have a choice.
Depending on the situation you may feel it more dangerous or advantageous to leave it, if the stress or tension causes are greater than the reasons for staying. You are also gaining the confidence in your own ability to make these decisions.
Once you have made your decision…rest content in the knowledge that you made a wise decision based on the information you had available at the time.
Dismiss it from your mind, this is one less stress situation to deal with, it is done.
You are gaining confidence in your ability to make those decisions wisely and as each day passes you get stronger and better with every decision you make. Be tough on yourself, if you get into a mood tell yourself to snap out of it now because you have a choice and you can make any choice you wish to. Leave the mood behind look forward to something you really want to do perhaps this evening or tomorrow…yes…you have done it broken that negative spell. Make your decision to be happy or smiling, yes it is your choice.
When those stress full situations appear and I feel like it is a waste of time I say to myself… beam me up Scottie the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Do it now I will wait
Works every time, makes you smile doesn’t it? Remember that last stressful situation with that person and see that in your mind now, make the colours richer, bolder, brighter and stick a clowns red nose on their face, give them a wig and imagine an anvil falling out the sky on top of their head…and remember don’t tell them what you are smiling at.
The choice is yours and yours alone and you resolve to get some gentle exercise now and exercise helps you to sleep better and when you sleep well you feel better and ready to face a new day with a smile on your face.
You have learned now that it is not external events that cause the difficulty that is not what makes you happy or sad or tense or relaxed. It is your own attitude, the attitude that you take to those events and increasingly you are learning to accept people and events as they are. Seeing that compromise and reasonable solutions are both necessary and possible. You have learned that to say NO can be positive and beneficial to all parties. No point saying yes l will try to do that when you know full well you will fail and then disappoint others. Better to say no I cannot do that unless I drop this other [project] and then someone else will be upset.
More and more you find yourself substituting relaxation for stress and it is a fact the human body cannot be both stressed and relaxed at the same time and I know which is preferable…and so do you now.
When you make time for yourself and you can now, sit in a comfortable chair, take a deep breath, hold it in for as long as you can and exhale all the tension out and breath relaxation in. Allow yourself to remember this chair, this day, this session and remember how good you felt and allow yourself to drift back to the same level of relaxation you felt then and reinforce this feeling by saying the word relax to yourself 5 times going deeper and deeper into relaxation each time you say the word relax.
As you relax, more and more all the old feelings of tension just fade a way.
As you relax just remember beam me up and the clown nose…funny isn’t it? [Client may nod head]
In a moment, I am going to count up from one to five and on five you will come back to full conscious awareness (Use 1-5 comeback)