Recognising & Dealing with Stress
What exactly is Stress?
Stress is often defined as the body’s response to the demands of life and involves your emotions and mind. It is real, and it is an experience that affects everyone from time to time. It arises when you believe that you are facing demands that y might find difficult to cope with.
Stress is your body’s way of responding to these demands and it can be both good and bad. A certain amount of stress, known as eustress, is good for our health as it motivates us and increases focus and performance. But too much stress can make us unwell.
For our ancestors, stress was a survival skill used during life threatening situations. Once the danger had passed their stress levels lowered. However in today’s world we are constantly bombarded by stressors, such as family obligations, work deadlines and traffic and we rarely get a break to relax and relieve the stress.
Causes of Stress
When we are faced with demands that we find overwhelming our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, a scientific term for the instant pumping up of our bodies to prepare to fight or run from the cause of stress. A chemical called “adrenaline” is released and this gives us extra energy that we can use to deal with the situation. This is good if we are facing physical danger but not so good if the stress is a response to something that is more emotional than physical and that our adrenaline won’t help us with. Cause's of stress can come in many ways and forms....
Effects of Stress
Stress is a part of most people’s lives but for many it can be ongoing and unbearable. Stress symptoms can affect your body, your mind, and your behaviour. Left unchecked it can contributes to many health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Common effects of stress on the body:
Coping with Stress
Because Stress affects the body, mind and emotions it can also be reduced in each of these areas by using methods such as:
Exercise, such as running, dancing, swimming, yoga, tai chi
Challenge negative thoughts test reality thinking (catastrophic/ black & white)
Practise positive self-talk
Focus on being grateful
Disconnect from technology as much as possible.
Laugh and Cry
Express stress through art or writing
Engage in any enjoyable activity or hobby such as gardening, cooking, painting, reading, watching a movie, or listening to music.
Therapy for Stress
Cognitive behavioural therapy is an effective form of therapy for stress, as it helps change negative thought patterns that develop as a result of stress and teaches new ways of thinking about stressful events that do not have such a negative effect.
When the stresses of life affects one’s well-being negatively in any way, it may be helpful to meet to with a mental health professional. As a professionally qualified counsellor I can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new and effective coping skills.
To book an appointment just call 087 6203371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.