Counselling for Personal Stress
Jennifer McDermott, M.A., R.S.W., Counselling Services can help you address the stres in your life. Stress is a common problem that affects almost all of us at some point or another in our lives. Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand that is put on it. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into their blood. These chemicals give people more energy & strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional & there is no outlet for that extra energy.
Unfortunately some people are more prone to stress than others. There are a number of risk factors that make you more prone to stress & they may include:
- Poor Lifestyle Habits, including unhealthy nutrition, physical inactivity, lack of sleep, &/or substance abuse.
- Personality Traits, such as a tendency towards perfectionism, obsessiveness, insecurity, control &/or a low tolerance for change.
- Social Skills & Factors, such as lack of social life, a poor support circle, &/or an ability to manage conflict.
Everyone's stressors, reactions to stress, & ways of dealing with stress are different. Learning to identify when you are under stress, what is stressing you, & your preferred way of coping with stress can greatly improve your mental & physical well-being.
Types of Stress
Stress can be divided into acute & chronic stress. Some stress can be positive & may be productive, capable of improving motivation, as well as providing inspiration in certain instances. Acute distress is a short-term reaction to certain stressful events like road rage, while chronic stress occurs more frequently & may seem to be a regular feature of a person's life.
Recognizing the Signs of Stress
The signs of stress should not ignored. When stress is ignored it can lead to self-neglect, loss of self respect, violence & even depression. It may also increase the risk of developing serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
Signs of stress include:
- Physical, such as disrupted sleep patterns, loss of appetite, headaches, fatigue, muscle spasms, skin rashes, tooth grinding, back pain, repetitive colds or flu.
- Mental, such as memory loss, difficulty in concentrating and making decisions, & decreasing motivation.
- Behavioural Changes, such as irritability, mood swings, loss of sexual desire, a preference for being alone, increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee or other substance.
If you are manifesting any signs of stress that persist or you are worried about how it may be impacting your health it is a good idea to consult your physician.
Stress counselling is practiced using techniques such as behavioural therapy. Practitioners using this technique encourage their clients to consider why they react to certain situations & attempt to help them alter their responses. Client-centred therapy is also appropriate for people suffering from stress and explores the reasons why certain events act as triggers for people. Stress management counselling is often useful at assisting people in limiting the negative effects of stress, as well as preventing physical or mental problems. It can help people to recognise the major causes of stress in their lives and make positive changes that will help them to react less to stressful situations in the future.
If stress is interfering with your life or you have any of the signs of stress mentioned above, Jennifer McDermott Counselling Services can help assess and assist with addressing these concerns in your life.