The Myth of Executive Stress

WorkerThere are different kinds of stress. Image: iStock/shironosov

“The stress response is an all-purpose Code Red that reacts in a similar way to different kinds of threats. The hyena charging from behind the grass elicits the same kinds of bodily responses as the boardroom full of bosses evaluating your PowerPoint presentation. The brain triggers a release of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, causing the heart rate to spike. Glucose floods the system to release energy. All that energy is diverted to muscles in the arms and legs as the body shuts down non-essential activities like growth and digestion. That’s great for running or fighting, but no help for remembering your opening joke…When the stress response is activated for months at a time, it is toxic. The cardiac workout turns into heart disease, the glucose flood sinks into diabetes, and the overworked immune system gives in to infections…A recent study by psychologist Gary Sherman and colleagues provides the most direct test yet of the difference in stress between leaders and followers…Leadership has its privileges…They (leaders) have much more control over how their lives are arranged than does the secretary who schedules their appointments or the janitor who cleans their office…Lacking control is associated with higher blood pressure, lowered immune function, and a host of stress-related diseases. Control is the essence of power, the linchpin binding status to stress…If you are trying furiously to control a situation because you are terrified of what would happen if you don’t, you are not really in control at all…”

From Scientific American, click here for full article. By Keith Payne, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr Payne studies unconscious and unintended influences on thought and behavior.

With the use of hypnotherapy we can increase control over our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Find out first what is/are the reason/s why we feel out of control. Identify those aspects of our lives which we can not be in control of, really make sure this is the case from a rational point of view, and only then learn to accept that situation (perhaps throughout this analysis we may devise new approaches to areas of our life which we thought we could not be in control of). Find out what would be the healthiest, most realistic and specific approach to those aspects of life which we can not be in control of, and rehearse them under hypnosis. Start to identify those aspects of our lives which we can be in control of, and define what would our desired thoughts, emotions and behavior be. Are they realistic? Healthy? Achievable? Is there any scientific proof that what we want to achieve is not possible? in that case, the possibility of achieving it exists. Rehearse our desired situation under hypnosis using a variety of techniques which range from purely behavioural to cognitive and analytical. Mental work may be guided by our conscious mind and be influenced by our subconscious mind. We may be able to access parts of our subconscious mind which are not available to us from our normal state of awareness. These may encourage new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.


About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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