Stress Management

Image: A gauge displaying a needle pointing to the "Sky High" sector on a blood pressure scale. This visual representation highlights the detrimental effects of chronic high-level stress on health and well-being.

Up to 90% of All Doctor’s Visits are Stress-Related!

In our hypercompetitive world, attempting to stave off stress is akin to fighting against the tide—an endeavour fraught with futility. Despite our best efforts to shield ourselves from it, amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, stress inevitably finds ways to permeate our daily lives.

Our bodies, resilient as they are, are constantly bombarded by the demands of our fast-paced world. Everyday stressors like work deadlines and personal challenges invariably weigh us down.

We often scramble for solutions or turn to questionable coping mechanisms during these trying times merely to get by. But we soon realize that these temporary fixes aren’t enough to deal with stress in the long run.

But wait! It gets worse. Living in our fast-paced world subjects us to a more sinister kind of stress, the chronic type!!!

What is Chronic Stress?

Chronic stress occurs when our bodies and minds face persistent pressure, whether from our tendency to catastrophize or from external stressors in our environment. It’s the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, trapped in an unrelenting cycle of stress.

Imagine always having an excessive amount to handle, with no respite in sight. That’s the essence of chronic stress – an enduring strain that impacts us profoundly, making it challenging to relax and leading to persistent distress. It’s akin to carrying a burden that never seems to lighten.

Sources of Chronic Stress and Their Debilitating Effects

People in economically advanced regions worldwide, including Singaporeans, often live in a perpetual state of heightened anxiety and fear. Picture a 6-foot black bear (a.k.a, an overbearing boss), backstabbing colleagues, impossible deadlines, exams, traffic jams, financial worries, obnoxious and unreasonable people… the list goes on and on.

This constant pressure can be categorized into four main types:

  • Emotional stress: Enduring feelings of anxiety or depression over an extended period.
  • Relationship stress: Challenges stemming from family, friends, or romantic partners.
  • Work stress: Difficulties with supervisors, coworkers, or the work environment.
  • Health-related stress: Struggles associated with physical health concerns, chronic illnesses, or medical conditions.
Image shows the physiological harm caused by chronic stress, including weakened immune systems, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and damage to the brain and nervous system.
The Adverse Effects of Chronic Stress on Our Bodies

Studies upon studies demonstrate that chronic stress aggravates pre-existing medical illnesses, increasing their severity and possibly even increasing the risk of fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, immune system disorders, high blood pressure, respiratory infections and autoimmune diseases.

Psychologically, chronic stress causes or exacerbates conditions linked to stress, such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), burnout, depression, or substance use disorders.

More Debilitating Effects of Chronic Stress…

Beyond the detrimental impacts of chronic stress outlined earlier, it can also manifest in the physical, cognitive, and emotional realms. These encompass:

Image: Shows the various detrimental impacts on a person's body due to chronic, unremitting stress.
Harmful Physiological Effects of Chronic Stress
Physical Manifestations
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Gastrointestinal distress, such as digestive problems or disorders
  • Obesity and weight fluctuations
  • Dermatological issues like skin irritation
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Bowel irregularities, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Frequent bodily aches, pains, and headaches
  • Sexual dysfunction
Cognitive Impacts
Emotional Experiences

Defeating Chronic Stress: Solutions for Wellness

Chronic stress requires a multifaceted approach to treatment, addressing the physical, cognitive, and emotional toll. Research has shown that Hypnotherapy and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy have proven effective in reducing stress and enhancing coping mechanisms.

Hypnotherapy involves guided relaxation techniques which help you become more receptive to beneficial therapeutic suggestions. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing stress levels.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy targets maladaptive thought patterns and behaviours, giving you practical tools to challenge negative thinking, modify dysfunctional behaviours, and develop adaptive coping strategies. Research has consistently shown its efficacy in reducing stress symptoms and enhancing coping skills.

Other well-established interventions encompassing cognitive, physical, and social dimensions include:

  • Maintain a consistent exercise routine.
  • Incorporate relaxation practices like yoga and mindfulness meditation.
  • Embrace a balanced and nutritious diet.
  • Cultivate effective time management strategies.
  • Establish practical and achievable goals.
  • Prioritize sufficient, restful sleep.
  • Allocate time for enjoyable leisure activities.
  • Foster reliable social connections.

Work with our team of experienced hypnotherapists and CBT-trained therapists to develop a personalized plan to manage chronic stress. By combining their guidance with practical lifestyle changes, you can effectively reduce the impact of chronic stress and build resilience, fostering a profound sense of calm and empowerment.

*Images courtesy of Mental Health America


APA Dictionary of Psychology. (2018, April 19).

Elkins, G., Jensen, M. P., & Patterson, D. R. (2007). Hypnotherapy for the management of chronic pain. The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis55(3), 275–287.

5 Things To Know About Relaxation Techniques for Stress. (n.d.). NCCIH.

Fisch, S., Trivaković-Thiel, S., Roll, S., Keller, T., Binting, S., Cree, M., Brinkhaus, B., & Teut, M. (2020). Group hypnosis for stress reduction and improved stress coping: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. BMC complementary medicine and therapies20(1), 344.

Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, September 10). Six relaxation techniques to reduce stress – Harvard Health. Harvard Health; Harvard Health.

Hofmann, S.G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I.J.J. et al. The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Cogn Ther Res 36, 427–440 (2012).

MedlinePlus. (2022). Stress and your health. Medlineplus.

Relaxation Techniques for Health. (2021, June). NCCIH.

Yale Medicine. (2022). Chronic Stress. Yale Medicine.

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