What is stress?
Stress is the way our body responds whenever there is a real or perceived threat. This response is also known as the Fight or Flight response. The aim of this is to protect us from danger by making us more alert, focused, energetic and stronger.
When our Fight or flight system is activated we release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, raising our heart beat and blood pressure, tightening our muscles, our breath becomes faster and this results in sharpening our senses. At this point we are ready to fight or flee from the situation. The problem is that our nervous system struggles to distinguish between emotional and physical stress, therefore the body can react to emotional upset as if it is a life or death situation. The bad news is that the more frequent we are activated, the easier our stress response gets triggered and the harder it is to return to normal.
In today’s fast paced world, we can spend a lot of time feeling stressed and this can cause serious health problems including suppressing our immune system, disrupting our digestive and reproductive systems, increasing risk of heart disease. It can also lead to an increase in other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Signs of Stress
Stress affects us cognitively, emotionally, behaviourally and physically and signs include the following:
• Memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgement
• Negative thinking
• Anxious or racing thoughts
• Constant worrying
• Depression or general unhappiness
• Anxiety and agitation
• Moodiness, irritability, or anger
• Loneliness and isolation
• Aches and pains including chest pain
• Diarrhoea or constipation, nausea, dizziness
• Loss of sex drive
• Frequent colds or flu
• Eating more or less
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Withdrawing from others
• Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
• Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Causes of Stress
Stress can be triggered not only by difficult life events such as job loss, divorce, ill health and grief, but also positive events such as getting married, new job promotion, moving to a new house.
We don’t all respond to the same trigger in the same way, for example one person may flourish when having a to meet a deadline and another person may shut down. It is not necessarily the situation that causes the stress response, it is how we relate to the situation.
What can you do?
Once we become aware of what is stressful for us, we can find ways of relating to our stress more healthily and find strategies of coping. Tolerance to stress can be influenced by:
• A network of support from family and friends, connecting to others
• Learning new ways of relating to your emotions
• Having realistic expectations
• Planning and being prepared
• Making time for rest and relaxation
• Having a positive outlook
• Healthy diet and exercise
• Mindfulness techniques
Find a way to balance life and get back into your flow.
If you would like further help, please visit our Practitioner Page. All the Practitioner at the Therapy Rooms are fully qualified and experienced.
Room to Grow – ‘your business, your way’
This isn’t just another room hire venue. My vision is to build a professional service to reach out and meet the therapeutic needs of our local community. I hope that by creating a safe space for both therapist and client we can begin fulfilling this need. You are welcome to participate at any level that suits you and your business needs.
We aim to meet regularly to enable us to build a support network. We all have our specialities or areas of interest and we can use this space to find out about each other so that we can refer clients appropriately, again this is optional to suit your needs.
I am a qualified trainer and I am happy to develop training/workshops. I recently provided a half day training on Suicide Intervention incorporating BACP ethical framework and we plan to hold an information session on the new GDPR in the very near future. We already have a lot of expertise between us on areas such as mental health, grief, eating disorders, addictions, couples counselling, to name but a few. Therefore we welcome anyone wishing to make use of the rooms to hold workshops or information sessions.
Please contact Toni for more information on how this might work for you.