What is the difference between Stress and Anxiety and how you can manage it in your life?


“With stress levels continuing to rise all over the world,
people are becoming more conscious
not only of the long-term effects of stress,
but also of how unmanaged emotions
compromise the quality of one’s day-to-day life,
limiting mental clarity, productivity, adaptability
to life’s challenges and enjoyment of its gifts.
At the same time, most of us have
experienced how positive emotional states,
such as appreciation and care,
add a quality of buoyancy and coherent flow to our lives,
significantly enhancing our efficiency and effectiveness.” 

–Research Overview; The Institute of HeartMath

In today’s modern, high pressure, fast paced society, we all feel stress in varying degrees from time to time. Whether it is at work or at home, financial or relationship concerns, divorce, separation or bereavement, moving home, becoming a new parent, the list is seemingly endless and I am sure that you could easily add some of your own.

Basically, anything that makes us angry, anxious or frustrated, instills a recognisable fear, or causes a change in our life can be termed as stress, even if that change is a positive one that will improve our life, we are naturally fearful of the unknown.

There are several recognised types of stress, below are some of the more common ones:

Emotional: relating to personal conflict.

Mental or Physical Illness: Either yourself or a significant person in your life.

Environmental: Caused by an outside influence.

Push Push Shove: Too much to do, too little time.

Hormonal: Puberty, PMT, Menopause, Mid-life crisis, etc.

Allergic: Body reacts to allergens as poison.

The Biology of Stress

Our bodies are designed to cope with small amounts of stress for short periods of time, it is only when we allow the stress levels to build up that it becomes a problem. Human beings, through our ancestors and all the way back to cavemen, have an inbuilt alarm system when we are in a threatening situation known as the ‘fight or flight’ response and it is this same internal reaction that is triggered by stress.

Natural chemicals are released which increase both our breathing and heart rate, which in turn increases blood pressure so that more oxygenated blood can be pumped to our muscles. Adrenalin is released into the bloodstream that enables the liver to produce energy giving sugars, all of which prepare us to either fight the threat or run from it.

However, with modern stress, neither of these reactions is usually relevant or indeed possible so if the stress is allowed to continue over a period of time we end up with high blood pressure, an overworked heart and a lot of unnecessary chemicals racing around our bodies, while some of our other bodily functions, particularly the digestive system, are partially closed down due to the increased demand to the muscles etc.

So it is easy to see why modern stress has many physical symptoms such as coronary disease and heart attacks, headaches, digestive problems, ulcers, muscle spasms and many more, while also causing mental symptoms such as depression and sleeplessness.


Anxiety is a fear based emotion, it is the anticipation of stress. The thought of being stressed or engaging in a stressful situation creates an anxious response.  Worrying about a perceived (imagined) negative situation or outcome results in anxiety.

When this behaviour is repeated it becomes a negative habit reinforcing fears, becoming a phobia and lead to actual physical ‘panic attacks’.

Managing Stress and Anxiety:

Science and Reiki and Hypnotherapy

Scientific evidence, some of which I have put on my website hypnoreiki.co.uk under Why Reiki is not woo woo , backs up the fact that negative energy created by stress and anxiety that becomes trapped in the body is reduced and released by Reiki treatments. Reiki is also sometimes referred to as ‘biofield’ therapy. My favourite researcher is Ann Linda Baldwin, PHD see her article ‘Reiki, the Scientific Evidence’ on www.reiki.org  She writes, “….Reiki reduces stress, pain, depression and anxiety ……”

Hypnosis with Reiki

As Reiki has been proven to be an effective treatment for stress reduction, putting the body and mind into a deep relaxation which revitalises the body’s cells to facilitate healing, I have found that as an experienced hypnotherapist, including spoken hypnotic suggestions deeply enhances the healing process even further on every single level physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, promoting the most blissful, calming relaxing, clearing and healing process possible.

So as the research quoted above by The Institute of HeartMath states, stress and anxiety will always be with us, it is our responsibility to manage and take care of our own health and well – being so that as they rightly say, it is possible to experience times of fully enjoying and embracing life and by engaging in regular HypnoReiki sessions this will definitely enable you to achieve this.

“One of the Best Lessons you can learn in life is how to remain calm” – Buddha’s teaching.

Joy Sackett (Wood) the original Master Practitioner and founder of HypnoReiki

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