Discuss the Relationship Between Habits Phobias and Stress

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Discuss the Relationship between Stress, Anxiety, Habits and Phobias and describe how you would treat these issues with Hypnotherapy.

Many people who suffer with stress, anxiety, habits or phobias will turn to hypnotherapy for treatment. It has been proven extremely successful and can have a major impact on a persons life. With an understanding of the relationship between these disorders, examining the similarities and the differences between each, the therapist then has information in deciding how and if to treat these disorders. Stress is our bodies’ way of responding to any kind of demand, an emotional and physical strain caused by our response to excessive pressure from the outside world, run down, overloaded. It is a fact of nature and we need some form of stress in our lives as it provides us with more energy and strength, preparing us for danger. This is called Survival stress or flight or fight syndrome and it is our body’s natural response. At some point in our lives, we all suffer from some form of stress due to our lifestyles sometimes being challenging. While certain types of stress are good for you, (e.g. anticipation) stress that begins to debilitate or produce depression requires treatment. If left untreated it could result in a stress related illness, leading to anxiety or even a phobia. Stress related problems can stem back to our past. If our parents did not cope with stress very well, we are more likely to inherit a lessened ability to deal with stress appropriately. Some people can be addicted to stress, putting unnecessary pressure on themselves and focussing on the negatives in life. People may experience stress because of pain, discomfort, diet, health problems and refusal to accept important feelings. E.g. sadness. Feelings of stress can be experienced as anger, frustration, tension and anxiety. Stress is a negative emotional experience resulting from a person feeling a mismatch between the environment and their ability to cope with that environment. A change occurring in a person’s life can cause a fear of that change. E.g. moving house, bereavement. Types of stress are; hypostress, eustress, acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress. The more severe cases of stress cannot be treated by us without their G.Ps consent. People with stress may also find that they are suffering from a psychological change which presents itself as depression or acute anxiety but can’t always be connected to a specific cause. Common symptoms are insomnia, confusion, and sexual dysfunction. To treat stress we must help the client to learn to relax and learn triggers that will help them to deal with the condition, giving motivation and assisting them to realise they must be prepared to take responsibility, making changes necessary to remove negative symptoms changing reactions towards stressful situations. Incorporating new responses into the clients’ life, helping them to feel protected from outside pressures and stress, and accepting repressed feelings. Positive phrases, deep relaxation and imagery would be used according to the clients’ initial consultation form and preferences.


Anxiety is essentially a learned and anticipatory response, fear implies a response to a visible or immediate threat, whereas anxiety is apprehension or fear which is less clearly defined. We may feel anxiety when we are under long term stress, feeling threatened or not knowing why we are anxious. The symptom of anxiety can stem from traumatic experiences e.g. childhood, repressed memories and even inherited from our parents. Anxiety is a state that we all experience at some point and it is a normal response that teaches us to avoid dangerous situations. It aids our survival and again, we need it for addressing situations and motivation, only we all react differently to it. High levels of anxiety over a long period of time can affect your health, can sometimes be irrational, cause stress and in extreme circumstances...
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