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Monday 9 am - 5 pm same day appointments available

Stress management

Stress is defined as a threatening of the body’s homeostasis by external or internal stressors or when environmental demands tax or exceed an individual’s capacity to adapt. To initiate an adaptive response to acute stress the organism evolved the stress response (or alarm reaction) which function is to re-establish homeostasis; it contains four well-defined phases: freeze, flight, fight and tonic immobility.



  • work stressors
  • environmental stressors
  • family, social stressors
  • change stressors (leave a job, retirement, loss of a family member/friend)


The stress response

The rapid adaptive response: Activation of the sympathetic nervous system and release of epinephrine (adrenaline), noradrenaline and cortisol:


  • increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • slowing down of digestion
  • increase in respiration
  • increase in perspiration
  • increase in muscle tone
  • increase in blood clotting


The consequences of prolonged exposure to stress

  • Short term effects
    • physical: aches and pains, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, trembling, sweating, insomnia, elevated blood pressure
    • psychological: anxiety/panic, depression, helplessness, aggression, poor concentration, lack of confidence, withdrawal
  • Long term effects


    • physical: gastric ulcers, increased risk for infections, hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke
    • psychological: chronic depression, breakdown





  • Education about stressors and the stress response
  • Cognitive therapy: Identification of unhelpful attitudes and cognitive distortions
    • Formulation of functional/helpful thoughts
  • Hypnotherapy
    • setting anchors (a kind of programming a reflex to deal with stressful situations in a healthier way)
    • ego boosting and positive suggestions
    • goal setting and age progression (visualization of how to cope better in a stressful situation)
    • self-hypnosis (learning a very effective and fast tool for relaxation)
    • there are many other hypnotherapeutic techniques such as regression, dissociation, etc.
  • Time management
    • checklists, diary, set goals and priorities, balance work and leisure
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Diet
    • avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar
  • Various relaxation techniques: progressive relaxation, biofeedback, visualization, whole-body breathing, tai chi, meditation, and yoga

Stress management workshop

Please check out our workshop on stress management!

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© Dr. med. Roger Bühler