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Natural Stress Relief

Understanding stress involves a bit of understanding human history. In the early times of human existence, the world was pretty stressful. Survival was a big deal. Stress was a response of the mind to the constant threats from wild animals, disease, severe weather, and other tribes of humans. Stress was a state of heightened alert to the dangerous world. Over time, life became safer and humans developed natural methods of stress reduction—from the development of massage techniques to the use of natural hot springs. As we built sturdy buildings against weather and learned to predict it, our lives became less stressful. Developments in medicine and hygiene created a safer world, and, for the most part, peace was more common than war. Stress remained, but it was changing and becoming more understood and managed.

Then we arrived in the digital age and everything changed. The human brain became overwhelmed with inputs and information. Electronic devices from televisions to computer screens cause the brain to build images out of thousands of tiny electronic dots. The human brain in the digital age is, unfortunately, in a constant state of stress. 

A recent study out of the University of Texas found that even a turned off smartphone in the same room can increase subconscious brain activity. Researchers theorize that the human brain becomes so accustomed to constant information that the potential of unknown data available on a smartphone is enticing enough to activate brain processes. If the study is correct, then the constant stream of information people receive on a daily basis isn’t the only source of stress for the brain—the potential streams even cause the brain to work harder than it is designed to work. 

Master Hypnotist Beverly Craddock, of Hawaii Hypnosis Center, in Honolulu, says most people aren’t aware of just how much stress they experience daily. 

“When a significant life stressor occurs—divorce, a death, a job change, birth of a child—suddenly these other stressors become significant hurdles on top of the major problem,” she explains. “For many people, it becomes overwhelming and potentially chronic. Even when the major challenge is no longer present, the small and constant stressors wreak havoc on the nervous system.” 

The solution, according to Beverly, is to find a meaningful way to relax and unplug. 

“Some people are able to handle daily stress with exercise, like yoga, or by having a daily meditation habit,” Beverly adds. “If the stress is deeply layered or has become chronic, it’s probably best to look for a professional to help resolve the roots of the tension.”

Because the subconscious mind has the primary purpose of protection, Beverly says it can be both a friend and a foe. “The protective nature of the mind is absolutely necessary for our survival,” she says. “But when it hits overdrive to protect us, it can be a burden to get the mind to slow down. The drive of the mind to protect us can become more significant stress without a way to resolve things.” 

Hypnotists use subconscious processes to help clients find and resolve the origins of fears, anxiousness and stress. “Once you resolve the underlying stressors of the subconscious, you should turn off the smartphone, TV and computer and spend a little time each day doing something that lets your mind unwind,” Beverly concludes. “Whether you’re surfing, gardening or reading a book, you’ll give your mind the benefit of quieting down its environment and letting it go more slowly through an activity.”


Randy Hampton is a writer, social scientist, hypnotist and blogger living in Honolulu. 

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