“Stress is everywhere.”

This was the first sentence in a report on stress that landed in my inbox earlier this week.

I spent the next couple of days looking for stress everywhere but, to my surprise couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked inside and outside. In shops, cafés, on the street, in bus stops.

It was nowhere to be found?

Was I not looking hard enough I wondered.

Was I blind to the stress all around me?

Or was the statement wrong?

I concluded the statement is wrong.

Stress is not everywhere.

Stress is not a thing.

It’s a feeling – a combination of uncomfortable sensations and some degree of fear.

We feel stress. Everyone’s experience of stress is unique to them and may differ from one threat experience to the next

What I saw when I went looking for stress was a city full of people experiencing some degree of chronic stress.

Why is this so?

Our innate survival operating system (SOS) responds to perceived threats to our physical and/or emotional wellbeing by activating the stressor response. The stressor response modifies our body, so we are best able to either run for our lives or fight for our survival.

We experience the result of these physical changes as (acute) stress. You’ll be familiar with what acute stress feels like, the rapid heartbeat, the rapid breathing, sweating, muscle tension etc.

This response to threats is highly effective. It’s probably the key reason why we’re still around today. However, our SOS evolved such that once we survive the threat the stressor response switches off and we shift back into rest, digest and recover mode. In this way our mind and body rebalance ready for the next threat.

So many perceived threats …

For our ancestors perceived threats did not come as thick and fast as they do for us today. Each day our SOS is likely to perceive a host of things as threats: missing the bus, our mobile running out of battery, our boss giving us negative feedback, an unexpected bill, an interest rate rise, an argument with our partner, being unfriended on Facebook, the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, when our SOS frequently perceives threats (many times a day or constantly) there isn’t enough time between activation of the stressor response for our mind and body to rebalance.

As a result, stress hormones build up in the body and we start to experience ‘chronic stress.’

Chronic stress

Chronic stress is bad for the body as amongst other things, it dysregulates the digestive system and immune system. A dysregulated digestive system can lead to Irritable bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and much more. A dysregulated immune system makes us more vulnerable to illness and disease.

A trap that’s easy to fall into ….

When we buy into ‘stress is everywhere’ the risk is that we look externally for the cause of our stress. We can fall into the trap of believing we are the helpless victims of stress.

By understanding that it is our SOS that creates our stress is empowering because, if we are creating our stress, then it makes sense that we can take action to stop creating unnecessary stress and to put an end to our chronic stress.

The question is what action do you need to take?

You can do two things – stop creating unnecessary stress and reduce the level of stress you’re currently experiencing. A lot of stress management tips and advice id focused on the latter – reducing your stress level. BUT if you don’t develop the skills to stop creating unnecessary stress you’ll be forever coping with chronic stress.

Hypnotherapy for stress management

Once of the most effective ways to develop your stress self-management skills is hypnotherapy.


Because your SOS operates outside of your awareness, at the subconscious level, and hypnotherapy focuses on changing people at the subconscious level. It can help reset your SOS and bring balance back into your life.

Would you like some help getting your stress or anxiety under control?

If you want help getting your stress or anxiety under control, simply click the button below to secure a free 30 min Zoom or phone consult with me, where we can explore how I can help you liberate yourself from anxiety. Alternatively give me a call or contact me today on 021 056 8389 or email tony@tycoaching.nz.

Book your consultation with Tony

I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, click the button above or ring/text 0210568389