Updated: Sep 3
Welcome to HypnoBrew where we’re discussing everyone’s excuse for irritability today—stress. If you'd prefer to listen, you can hear it at Spotify or Anchor. Cars honking, bosses screaming, kids whining, significant others complaining, mail notifications, salesmen pressuring, illness, attempting to eat, and that movie you wanted to see? Forget it! Because if there’s one thing that needs to be stressed right now—it’s exactly that. Stress. According to Psychology Today, the average human makes about 35,000 decisions in one day – every day – 365 days a year. Listen while Toastmasters presents Gopi Kallayil sharing the technique of combating this circumstance. That’s right, 35,000 a day. That’s a ton of decisions that will affect the choices that shape our lives. Broken down, that’s about 2,000 each hour or a choice every two seconds. If you think about it—you’re deciding right now, aren’t you? Although we all have a bunch of decisions every day to make, some are a lot more taxing than others and can have a significant impact on our lives.
As a matter of fact, Touro University Worldwide tells us that several studies indicate our brain is impaired in several ways with stress because it can disrupt synapse regulation, causing us to avoid interactions and allow our social skills to take a hit, as if they haven’t with the pandemic already, right? That’s a completely different stress alone. But our nerves can produce additional levels of cortisol, that are created can wear down the brain’s ability of properly functioning. Stress can not only kill brain cells but go as far as to reduce the size of our brains. And some of us just can’t afford that risk.
Having major decisions not only causes additional stress, but the outcomes themselves can be more stressful. And stress compounds many aspects in our lives just from the components of effects on our bodies, some of which we’re familiar. The Mayo Clinic states stress causing headaches, muscle pain, chest pain, fatigue, stomach upset, sleep problems, and even our sex drives. That’s right. Our ability to unwind and entertain ourselves and others can be massively impacted by our ability to do one of the most natural and enjoyable instincts of humans. Now this may or may not be the reason I haven’t had sex for a dozen years. Or it may be a choice… who knows?
Some of the methods to work through these debilitating conditions is physical activity, relaxation—such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga—or even a massage. Laughing and turning as many serious situations into humorous ones, although becoming The Joker is not a wise idea—he went a bit overboard. Spending time with friends and family, or the opposite—spending time alone, but in a constructive situation such as reading a book or listening to music. Those who are especially ambitious can listen to music and exercise at the same time. Earbuds and a canyon hike make an awesome combination. And if your stress is so overwhelming, or an immediate adversary and you haven’t yet mastered these skills to the point of panic alleviation, you can always contact your friendly neighborhood hypnotists for assistance.
A lot of us are fighting tooth and nail to get ahead through education, but New York University states that fatigue and depression are exacerbated by stress and causing nearly 55% of students an inability to cope. Therefore, the very hinderance they’re struggling to prevent later in life is having atrocious effects now and may even prevent them from every obtaining that degree. Stress can have an impact on susceptibility to physical illnesses and psychological conditions, and one in five contemplate suicide. So that one kid who’s always sick—may have excruciating stressors. Or perhaps it’s you that’s stressing. But if none of the mentioned stressors have much of an impact on you—stay tuned. The stress that I personally had caused me to buy a condo—literally—no joke.
Speaking of jokes, The Joker from Batman seemingly went over the edge of sanity from too much depression. I don’t know if you’ve ever been so upset you’ve begun laughing, but I have, and it’s very confusing to everyone, not to mention, yourself. And The Joker says, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!” Remember, this word of advice streams from a crazy man. But, in many cases, The Joker is unfortunately correct—partially. What I mean is that it isn’t necessarily tough people who go shopping when stressed, but a crisis can bring on bouts of shopping. How many times have you purchased something and returned it soon after? No, nothing was wrong with it. It worked just fine and was exactly what was promised. You discovered you can’t afford it right now, you never really needed it in the first place, or worse, you’re too embarrassed to take it back, so you suck it up, thinking that you’ll learn. But you don’t. This is called “impulsive shopping” or “retail therapy,” according to Psychology Today, because purchasing items gives us some small sense of control—if only for a moment. Just to be clear, there are some stores that thrive on this mentality. That's right, 80% of purchases are produced from emotions and the stores count on you for that "support."
Enough of this going on, not only will an addict emerge, but many times you’ll go deeply in debt before they realize they have an issue. And if you think you’re stressed now, just wait until that credit card bill becomes due. Then you’ll be stressed!
Although I cannot accredit buying a condo as an addiction, it’s not even something a bit more sinister professionals like to call Transient Global Amnesia. When you’ve managed to escape the permanent effects of epilepsy or a life-threatening stroke. With no recollection of arriving somewhere, and no idea whatsoever of how you got there, you may have suffered from TGA. It doesn’t last longer than 24 hours and is usually shorter. If this happens, do your best to calm down, take deep breaths, and perhaps get some overdue rest.
What I experienced is a bit more complex and a lot creepier—and absolutely stems from stress. It’s called dissociative amnesia. There are three types of dissociative amnesia, as described by Cleveland Clinic as Localized, concentrating on a specific trauma, usually having experienced a violent activity; Generalized which is when major portions, such as being unable to recognize family, friends, or even her name; and Fugue, which is when a person adopts a new identity altogether. One such example is a middle manager passed over for promotion. When he failed to return from work, his family desperately searched for him. It took a week to find him 600 miles away, working as a short order cook. He had no recollection of any of his family, friends, co-workers or even his own name. So, he simply invented one.
My own personal experience was a little bit more complicated, as this informative article relays from The Recovery Village. A single mother with two kids, the pandemic going on, working toward a promotion I’d planned on for quite some time, and finding out I didn’t acquire it. Not only did I not get the promotion to another department I was stuck in a position that appeared there was no way up or out of. It didn’t cause me to run away and change my identity, it caused me to fragment so extensively that I genuinely went shopping for a new place to live without remembering any of it. Now I understand that I toured several, making an offer on the one we were approved to purchase. How in the hell does someone buy a house and not remember, you may ask?
How did I buy a new place in which to live and not remember? Well, I was brushing my teeth, my phone rang, and I answered it. A realtor congratulated me and informed me that she had placed all of the paperwork and my keys beneath my doormat. Not understanding what I had done, my son and I Googled the address—that was in another county—and were both pleasantly surprised and simultaneously shocked. I vaguely remembered walking through it—like a distant dream. It was an odd occurrence that caused some rifts such as having to pay additional money for breaking our lease. I no longer had discounted access to the company I worked for and had to renegotiate our television preferences. My daughter had to attend a new school and make new friends. A barrage of changes we weren’t anticipating as we hadn’t packed one single article of clothing. All I can say is thank goodness for a couple of friends I had, Cio and Bonnie, who went out of their way to help us with moving. Yes, I attempted to get out of the contract, but to no avail. Turns out, it was actually a good move for us. Perhaps my subconscious knew more of what was better for me than my conscious, eh? And sometimes that’s true. As a matter of fact, this very episode is what brought me to discovering hypnosis and engaging in it in the first place. Stress. It can change your life. And hypnosis can assist you in overcoming stress so you can handle it more easily and at a calmer pace.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, take a minute to stop and slowly inhale and exhale a few times. It only takes a few seconds, and it could have a tremendous positive impact on your life. At the beginning, I talked about the 35,000 decisions you make in one singular day. One bad decision, such as stepping onto the crosswalk with your cell phone in front of your face, may end tragically if the light is red or the driver isn’t paying attention due to her own emergency and poor decision-making. While some decisions allow a do-over, walking in front of moving vehicles isn’t one of them. So use that time waiting at the crosswalk to your advantage. When the sign flashes “Do Not Cross,” I challenge you to put your phone away for a second and use your five senses to truly experience one of the few moments of relaxation. Breathe in and out, deeply and slowly, twice. See what you’ve been missing by consciously remaining stressed? Allow your heart to slow and your pulse to calm before the light changes green and your legs start pumping again. If you’re never near a crosswalk, use the elevator to utilize the same technique. If you have neither of these, there’s always that cute little cubby in the restroom that allows you nothing but privacy for a few short minutes a day. Use that time—although you may want to test the air before the two deep breaths. Still, that’s one decision that you will make that is a great decision—a break from stress decision. One down and 34,999 decisions to go! Make decisions that decrease your stress and it may be your own life you’re saving.
Thanks for joining me for HypnoBrew today and remember, when nothing else seems to be going your way, there’s one thing you’ll always have because this brew’s for you.