Toxic stress and boiling frogs – both are harmful to health.
Have we normalised abnormal stress? I have noticed in my therapy room recently: we appear to have normalised abnormal levels of stress. I have seen this before in teaching and other stressful professions where the emphasis was on working harder and harder, giving up more and more of your home life to the demands of […]
Have we normalised abnormal stress?
I have noticed in my therapy room recently: we appear to have normalised abnormal levels of stress.
I have seen this before in teaching and other stressful professions where the emphasis was on working harder and harder, giving up more and more of your home life to the demands of a job. During this last year of Covid restrictions, I have noticed that we have become under increasingly greater levels of stress from home, family needs and personal stress. The problem has become like a frog in boiling water – the stress has become toxic.
The boiling frog.
In case you are not already familiar with it, the Boiling Frog Story is a metaphor for how we can be slow to react to changes over time. The metaphor is that if you throw a live frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right back out. But frogs are cold-blooded creatures and naturally adjust to gradual changes in the temperature of their environment. So, if you place that same frog into a pan of cold water on the stove and slowly bring the water up to a boil, the frog will be content to stay in the water until it slowly boils to death. Whether this account is scientifically accurate or just an urban myth, it highlights the issue of waiting too long before we recognise that our stress levels have become toxic.
So how can we recognise ‘abnormal levels of stress?’
Of course, we all have different levels of tolerance to stress. When I am working with clients, there are some strong indicators that stress levels have reached a point where my clients are in danger of burn out.
The phone consultation:
Before a client even steps foot in my therapy room I like to ask them a few questions such as:
- What is on your ‘plate’ right now ?
- How are they sleeping?
- How much time do they give to their own wellbeing?
- What is their mental load like? Do they have children to support? A business? Caring responsibilities? Who in their life is supporting them? (sadly, this is often where clients reveal that everyone depends on them, but they cannot get support they need)
- How often do you worry about the future?
Worryingly, these questions often reveal that many clients do not seek help sooner because they thought they had to be the ‘strong one’. The one everyone else came to for advice and help. The reality is we are no help to others we love and care about if we are not putting our own needs first.
Toxic stress that affects your everyday wellbeing is not healthy and can lead to serious illness. Hypnotherapy can help reduce stress quickly.
Hypnotherapy is an amazing therapy to reduce toxic stress. In just one session, I help clients to clear away the mind clutter and gently release the build-up of stress. I use trance work and other therapeutic strategies, to relax my clients and restore deep calm, aiding restful sleep and clarity. Simple techniques and audio resources help clients post session to maintain their calm and prevent toxic stress from taking hold again.