Stress vs. Anxiety: How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Move Forward


Have you found yourself in a constant state of uneasiness, or irritability? 

While stress and anxiety may look similar, there’s still a fine line separating the two. 

Stress and anxiety can often exhibit many of the same symptoms – both physically and emotionally, however, they have different origins and different ways they impact your life. 

Feelings of stress and anxiety are perfectly normal responses to threatening or troubling circumstances in life, as these emotions indicate our fight or flight response is alive and well. However, when these feelings become relentless and don’t give us time to recover, they can cause major issues. 

So, how can you tell the difference between stress and anxiety? What can be done to overcome these uncomfortable feelings?

That’s what we’re here for! Stay with me so you can better understand what you’re going through, and how hypnotherapy can positively change your life. 

How Stress and Anxiety May Appear Similar:

Stress can trigger anxiety, and anxiety can trigger stress. It’s a vicious cycle. Some people experience both at the same time, causing even more emotional pain. 

Stress and anxiety look similar in how they present themselves. 

Physically, stress and anxiety may show up as:

  • Insomnia 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Memory loss 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Muscle tension 
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Stomach pains 

Emotionally, stress and anxiety may show up as:

  • Irritability 
  • Agitation 
  • Anger
  • Uneasiness
  • Tension
  • Sadness
  • Impatience

How Stress and Anxiety Are Different:

As you can see, stress and anxiety can walk, talk, and act the same. From an outsider’s perspective it can be incredibly difficult to spot the difference. With symptoms that can often appear interchangeable, understanding when to meditate and journal, vs when to seek professional help can become confusing. 

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two, so you can determine which one it is that’s calling the shots. 


Stress is our body’s physical and emotional response to pressure. This can be a deadline at work, or an overwhelming mountain of tasks on our to-do list. Whatever the case may be, stress can show up when we feel threatened, unable to cope, or like we have little control over a situation. 

While stress is certainly a feeling of being overwhelmed, there are actually three (3) types of stress you can struggle with:

  • Acute Stress: This is our reaction of stress to any new, challenging or unfamiliar situation. Think of starting a new job. You may feel overwhelming stress as you get up for work in the morning and start your day. However, as the day goes on those feelings fade over time. Acute stress is characterized as ‘short term’, meaning our bodies and emotions return back to a normal state relatively quickly. 
  • Episodic Acute Stress: This type of stress is similar to acute stress, however, episodic acute stress happens when we experience short term stress on a regular basis. Think of a bartender at a high volume restaurant. Every shift they work gets chaotic, increasing their stress levels. However, as the night comes to an end those feelings dissipate… only to come back the next night. 
  • Chronic Stress: Chronic stress is experienced when stressors continue for an extended period of time. This could be a toxic relationship or living in a high-crime part of town. Chronic stress has devastating long-term effects on our immune systems, brain function, emotional wellbeing, and relationships. 


Anxiety, on the other hand, is a sustained mental illness that can be triggered by stress, however, doesn’t have to be. Oftentimes those who struggle with anxiety find themselves feeling anxious for no reason at all. Anxiety is like a friend who said they’d sleep on your couch for a week, a year ago. Anxiety sticks around for the long haul, and likes to pop up at the most inopportune times. 

While there are a few types of anxiety, the most common form is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 

People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder often experience excessive worry about everything (real or imagined), for more days than not. The intensity of anxiety is often inflated compared to the likelihood of a certain scenario happening. Anxiety can make small situations feel threatening and dangerous, sending our body into fight or flight mode, all day long. 

Anxiety can cause significant distress in social, emotional, relational, financial, and physical aspects of someone’s life. 

Judith Heron
Judith Heron
I was in my darkest days when I found Ricky and he was amazing, I suffer ptsd and was in a bad place and kept putting him off then he messaged me asking if I was up to a phone call I said said yes, it was probably the best call I’ve ever taken. Ricky put me at ease talking me through everything, would I use Ricky again? The answer is yes and I would also recommend him to anyone he sent me an audio to listen to as I’ve not been sleeping I listened to it once and have slept solid ever since. My friends have noticed a real difference in me. I have had knots etc in my stomach for years and used to wake up most mornings feeling sick etc. it’s hard to describe because now after talking to Ricky this as all disappeared I can’t ever remember when I felt this normal. He goes above and beyond as he messaged me a few days later to see how I was I would recommend him 100 percent
Sheryl Brown
Sheryl Brown
I booked in to see Ricky following the end of a very traumatic and toxic relationship. Even before my first session he was more than helpful answering my queries and concerns. I was surprised how relaxed and engaged I was from my first session and Ricky always made me feel comfortable, listened to and that he understood my needs and aims. The rewind technique I found particularly effective and also the other methods he used in helping me move forward and also with self worth issues. I can honestly say that family and friends have noticed a big difference in me and I feel the best version of myself that I ever have. After having psychotherapy in the past and feeling that I had gone as far as I could with it, I read that the subconscious mind is where you sometimes need to go to heal. I went to see Ricky as a sobbing anxious mess and left feeling like I could move into a new chapter as a healthy, happy and confident person. My self worth has flourished since my sessions and I feel content, happy and full of self love. I have already recommended Ricky to friends and I don’t think I could ever put into words just how much he helped me and I can’t thank him enough
Oliver Boni
Oliver Boni
I had always been hesitant to try any kind of therapy like this but trying turned out to be the best decision of my life. I’ve struggled with a problem for over 20 years that I could never imagine going away and was leading to health problems, but seeing Ricky has changed my life without feeling at all judged. Thank you again Ricky, I would recommend to anyone.
Debbie Lawther
Debbie Lawther
I asked Ricky to help me to make a specific behavioural change, and that is precisely what he did. Beyond that, his intuitive sense added joy. His manner is calm, kind, and attentive, and professional.
Tigist Asefa
Tigist Asefa
Very Happy happy with the experience, great therapist 👍🏾
Andrea Erzkine
Andrea Erzkine
Ricky is incredibly patience and understanding, I can’t believe how much I have learnt and progressed in our sessions together. I highly recommend Ricky to anyone who needs guidance with anxiety and stress. Once again thank you so much!
Joanne Lawless
Joanne Lawless
Great Hypno therapist a wonderful experience,I highly recommend.
Janet Burden
Janet Burden
Fantastic nights sleep listening to this just before bed. I’m on long term medication that can prevent a good sleep and this relaxation really helps. Thanks Very much.
Lewis Livings
Lewis Livings
Ricky really helped me with the anxiety I was having. Learning about how the mind works helped me to see how I could regain control.  The trance work was very relaxing and I noticed very quickly, improvements in my sleep and how I handled things.  I can't thank you enough for your help!
Tracy Clarke
Tracy Clarke
I'd like to thank Ricky at Calmer Minds for his help over the last few months. He put my son at ease and helped him feel relaxed and Ricky knew what to say to help with his anxiety. I'd certainly recommend Calmer Minds Hypnotherapy


Now that we know how stress and anxiety differ, let’s talk about the most important aspect differentiating the two. The trigger. 

With stress, the trigger is an outside source. Like I said, an approaching work deadline, job loss, or financial burdens. 

With anxiety, the trigger is internal. These persistent feelings of dread, doubt, worry, or fear, or uneasiness last even in the absence of any external trigger. 

While stressful situations can cause anxiety, it’s the duration after a stressor is gone that determines which one is in the driver’s seat. 

When Should You Seek Help?

If you’ve noticed your stress or anxiety is impacting your physical health, it may be time to reach out to a trained professional. This can look like a significant change in appetite or weight, trouble breathing, or rapid heart rates. Insomnia and disruption of sleeping patterns can cause major trouble for our bodies and minds, as the body NEEDS sleep to recover and recharge for the next day ahead. If you find you can’t sleep due to stress or anxiety, it may be time to seek help. 

When it comes down to it, if you feel trapped or you feel as though your life is run by your anxious or stressful thoughts, there are many mental health professionals with the skills and knowledge to assist you in overcoming these negative thinking patterns. 

If your stress and anxiety prevents you from being social, or enjoying activities you once used to, there is no shame in asking for help. 

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a form of guided hypnosis practiced by certified mental health professionals. With the use of relaxation, extreme concentration, and deliberate attention, clients are guided into a “trance” or altered state of consciousness. 

Hypnotherapy utilizes the mind in order to relieve a patient of a wide variety of issues such as: 

When a client is in hypnosis, the hypnotherapist is able to explore areas of the mind typically hidden through the subconscious. This may include things such as past trauma, or repressed memories that are too painful to recount when the patient is awake. 

Under this guided, safe altered state of consciousness, a patient is much more susceptible to the suggestions and guidance of a therapist. This makes hypnotherapy extremely effective at helping a patient heal from old wounds and recover from distressing emotions.

How Does Hypnotherapy Help With Stress?

Through the subconscious mind – the area of our brains that operates automatically – hypnotherapy works to break negative thoughts and behaviours surrounding stress. When our subconscious mind is in a deeply relaxed state during hypnosis, suggestions from a hypnotherapist on how to manage and let go of stress in more healthy, positive ways is received openly. 

Short term stress, such as an important work meeting coming up, has been proven to be highly responsive to hypnotherapy. Hypnosis for brief stress inducing events can help you respond in a more relaxed way. 

In addition, hypnotherapy can help you gain confidence and boost your self-esteem, making it much easier to set boundaries with people. Setting boundaries is a crucial aspect of stress management. 

How Does Hypnotherapy Help With Anxiety?

While Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and medication are common forms of treatment for anxiety, more people than ever before are choosing Hypnotherapy.  But how does Hypnotherapy help with anxiety?

During a Hypnotherapy session, our minds are incredibly focused, relaxed, and open to suggestion.  This enables the therapist to help you remove unhelpful psychological barriers and behaviours.

What Should I Know Before Starting Hypnotherapy?

First and foremost, the therapist is there to guide you – not control your mind. Hypnotherapy isn’t exactly like the movies, and you won’t turn into a zombie or chicken afterwards!

As long as you’re visiting a qualified, professional hypnotherapist, the use of hypnosis for treating stress, anxiety and a host of other mental health concerns is very safe. 

When searching for a hypnotherapist, first check the provider’s qualifications. Professionals such as a hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, psychiatric nurse practitioner or medical doctor with a speciality in hypnotherapy are all excellent, safe choices. 

Keep in mind, anxiety and stress are a spectrum. If your anxiety is severe, your therapist may suggest trying other methods in conjunction with hypnotherapy. These can include other forms of talking therapy and psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy alongside other methods of treatment has been proven incredibly successful. 

Stress and Anxiety vs. Hypnotherapy:

So, we’ve learned about the differences between stress and anxiety. While stress is triggered by external events such as unexpected expenses, anxiety is triggered by inner feelings of fear and worry. 

While these two psychological disturbances look similar, you can easily tell them apart by what’s causing it. Remember, anxiety may be caused by nothing at all. It’s often a lingering feeling that refuses to acknowledge its expiration date. 

Whatever the cause may be, stress and anxiety are both effectively treated through hypnotherapy. During hypnosis, you will be guided into a calm, focused, intense state of relaxed attention. As the session proceeds, your brain’s subconscious will be opened to suggestions and affirmations by the hypnotherapist. This can significantly impact your thinking and behaviour following the session. 

Don’t allow stress and anxiety to run the show anymore. Take your life and your mind back with hypnotherapy. 

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