‘Stress’ is the word we use to describe the cocktail of symptoms we experience on an ongoing basis as a result of over activation of our natural stress response. The stress response is a biochemical process that our body performs in response to a real or perceived threat.



The cocktail of symptoms that comprise our stress experience is comprised of four ingredients:


  • Loss of humour;
  • Irritability/resentment/bitterness;
  • Depressed mood, apathy;
  • Feelings of failure/guilt/blame.

Cognitive (thinking):

  • Poor concentration;
  • Rigidity/resistance to change;
  • Suspicion/mistrust;
  • Stereotyping;
  • Objectification/distancing;
  • Ruminations (of leaving, revenge, and so on).


  • Work avoidance (absenteeism, clock-watching, and so on)
  • Diminished personal conduct with clients/colleagues
  • Inflexible behaviour
  • Habitual lateness
  • Acting out (alcohol/drugs/affairs/shopping, and so on).


  • Tiredness, lethargy
  • Sleep disorders
  • Increased minor illnesses (headache, backache, and so on)



The stress response is designed to switch on in the face of real and present danger and to switch off once the danger has passed. This automatic rapid response has been, and continues to be, essential to our survival as a species.

Over the course of human history most of the threats we faced were real and present dangers, for instance – threats in our environment, diseases and attacks from other humans. Today, despite the picture painted by the media the world is a much safer place for us.

However, while the physical threats we face on a daily basis may have reduced we have become skilled at perceiving threats where none exist. The label we’ve give to imagined future threats is ‘anxiety’.

Unfortunately when we spend our days perceiving all kinds of threats in the world around us, then we repeatedly trigger the stress response and experience ongoing stress. Ongoing stress is labelled ‘chronic stress.’ Over time chronic stress degrades our immune system exposing us to illness and disease.

Much of our threat perception occurs at a subconscious, out of awareness, level. We perceive we’re under threat when we believe we don’t have the necessary resources and/or control to cope with a situation. However, the more we perceive our environment to be safe, the less chronic stress we experience.

Much of the work I do with clients experiencing stress and anxiety is aimed at helping them to change the way they perceive events and situations. This may involve identifying irrational beliefs, inflexible life rules and unhelpful thinking habits.

As I mentioned earlier much of our threat perception happens outside of our awareness at a sub-conscious level. Hypnotic trance is a marvelous process for creating quick, effective, lasting change at a sub-conscious level.

If you are experiencing stress give me a call (021 056 8389) or send me an email, and let’s have a no-obligation chat about what you can do to reduce your stress levels. I’ll even show you a few techniques you can start using straight away to gain relief.

Here’s to a calm, relaxing week.

Go well


Tony Yuile is hired by people seeking help to perform at their best in one or more areas of their lives. He is a Personal Performance Coach & hypnosis professional based in Wellington NZ, where he specialises in helping people perform under pressure, reduce anxiety and manage stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.

This article contains the personal views and opinions of the author, which may change over time. It is intended to be for information only and does not constitute medical advice. For medical and health advice, always consult a qualified medical professional.