When humans experience “stress” there are a lot of things that happen both physiologically and emotionally. Stress can come in lots of forms, including simple frustration, resentments, anger, fear, boredom, or loss. This can happen all on the inside, meaning from relationships or interactions with other humans, and how you perceive the situation you’re dealing with, or it can be from the external world (like you almost step on a snake). And, there is short-term stress (like the snake) or long term stress (like your mother in law). In either case, whether real or imagined, and whether it’s from inside or outside of you, being in a state of stress makes your body respond in a certain way every time.
First, your level of adrenaline goes up. Your heart rate, breath rate, and blood pressure will all go up with that hormone. Your body will start to divert your blood into the major organs for protection. This is why if you are under chronic or long term stress, it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, etc., because of the damage you do to yourself physically over a long period of time. So as your body goes into what we call “fight or flight” response, you are likely not going to fight or flee… you’re going to stand there and try to “deal with it”, so you kind of stifle the natural response that would resolve the stress.
Next, your brain will try to have you focus o the source of your stress (like the snake) and reduce your concentration on other things it considers irrelevant to the situation. That may or may not be helpful – if you’re fighting with your husband and don’t notice what you have on the stove is burning, or your kid is climbing on the roof of the garage, or your dog just grabbed your expensive shoes to chew on for a while …. you get the idea. The other thing that happens in your mind is that your focus, or awareness reduces. You get some form of “tunnel vision” where you are only seeing things that are right in front of you.
Hypnosis is really the antidote to this response. Going into a hypnotic trance means that your mind relaxes, and when it relaxes, you simply have more of it to use. You can access memory much better and concentrate better. When you are calm and relaxed in your head, everything seems easier. Not as difficult. This is a great state of mind to be in when facing a difficulty or stressor. In truth, even if there was a fire, it’s far better for you to be calm and relaxed telling people about it, then freaked out and panicked when you tell them.