Stress

Stress is often caused by the continual demands made upon us such as relationships, work, finances and child rearing. Stress affects how you feel, your memory, concentration levels and your ability to focus on day to day activities. Most people either ignore or brush aside any warning signs of stress feeling they need to show they are coping. This places them under enormous mental and emotional pressure which can result in mental or physical health problems.

When under stress, the body goes into the fight or flight mode, releasing hormones to help you cope with any pressure you are feeling. Once this has passed, your stress levels should return to normal. If they don’t return to normal and stress remains continuous, these hormones remain in the body. This will result in an increase in stress levels which in turn will have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.

Stress is not an illness in itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress early on to avoid complications, and also to give you time to develop healthy coping methods.

If left untreated, stress can worsen or exacerbate physical and mental health problems such as:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Allergies and eczema
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diet and Weight problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of concentration or focus
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of libido

Dealing with Stress

Different people react to stress in different ways. There is no single method for dealing with stress, so it is advisable to experiment with different methods until you find one that works well for you.

Following are some easy suggestions to try in order to deal with the effects of stress.

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise or some form of physical activity
  • Time management
  • Time out or ‘me’ time
  • Keeping a journal/writing
  • Affirmations to help you change or shift your perspective
  • Art/drawing
  • Nature/gardening

Support for Stress

One way of dealing with stress and the issues related to it is talking about it to others. This can be done one on one with a counsellor or within a group situation. Another method is attending a stress or time management class which will help you to develop more effective coping methods. Ask your doctor to recommend support groups in your area.

We can help you to deal with the stresses in your life, and teach you more effective methods of coping. Click on the link below which will take you to the contact us page to make a booking.

Resources

Lantz, P. M., House, J. S., Mero, R. P., & Williams, D. R. (2005). Stress, life events, and socio-economic disparities in health: Results from the Americans’ changing lives study. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 46(3), 274-88.

Lucassen, P. J., Pruessner, J., Sousa, N., Almeida, O. F., X., Van Dam, A. M., Rajkowska, G, Swaab, D. F., Czéh, B. (2014). Neuropathology of stress. Acta Neuropathologica, 127(1), 109-35.