Helping Stress and Stress Management with Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy & Cognitive Therapy at 1066 Therapy
covering East Sussex, Battle, Hastings, Bexhill, Rye, Heathfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Crowborough, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Ashford and Kent.
So….What exactly is stress?
The word ‘stress’ tends to represent anything that is emotionally ‘negative’. However, stress is basically anything – person, event, situation, experience – which tests us, challenges us, or puts any strain or pressure on us, and thus causes our survival response to be activated. What we call ‘stress’ is actually the physiological experience of our survival response being activated repeatedly but in the absence of anything truly life-threatening.
Stress can be physical or emotional, internal or external.
Examples of physical stress are excessive heat or cold, or exercise.
Emotional stress can be caused by problems and demands in our relationships, our families, or our work; although, in fact, our stressed feelings are most often caused by the way we perceive the experiences and not by the things/events in themselves: – our perception of events represents the sum total of all of our similar life experiences up to that moment in time.
Potential external ‘stressors’ are events such as a change of job, moving home, caring for family, financial problems, serious illness and so on – although, as with emotional stress, none of these ‘external’ things can make us stressed – it is the way we perceive them which does that.
Potential internal ‘stressors’ are psychological in nature and can include the long-term effects of adverse experiences (unresolved emotions and conflicts), our personality traits, ‘core’ belief systems, and so on, all of which affect the way we interpret and react to the different challenges facing us every day.
A certain amount of stress, usually of a low level, is often necessary to help us to achieve certain things, such as meeting deadlines at work, or obtaining peak performance in a sporting activity for example; this is usually temporary and rarely causes major problems. However, if our survival response is activated regularly and repeatedly, then we can develop problems associated with what we know as ‘chronic stress’ (which is simply our survival response being activated way too often).
Signs of ‘chronic stress’:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Near constant worry
- Insomnia or other sleep problems
- Irritability and moodiness
- Drinking too much
- Feelings of being constantly pressured, hassled, hurried
- Feeling unable to cope
- High blood pressure
- Allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
- Smoking more, or starting
- Sadness, or depressed feelings
- Physical and/or mental illnesses
- Low or no sex drive
- Drug use or dependency
- Physical symptoms such as stomach problems, headaches, or other aches and pains.
Everyone expresses their stress in different ways, some people become angry and ‘act it out’, taking it out on others and the world around them – this way of dealing with stress has its own problems (click here for more on Anger problems).
Unfortunately, from a health point of view, regularly having our survival response activated depletes our digestive and immune systems (amongst other things) and these systems are essential as our defence against illness and disease – just ask anyone you know who has a serious illness and they will probably tell you that, prior to diagnosis, they were either going through a stressful period at the time and/or they experienced a significant emotional event about 18 months to two years prior to diagnosis. Being stressed often connects to less serious illnesses such as colds and flu too.
I offer different approaches for this (and every problem) and the choice of which one (or more) to take depends on the individual and their circumstances – the decision is usually made during the initial consultation.
Please browse my site for information on the various therapies / approaches that I practise.
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Call me now on 07722783490 or 01424 772392 to book your free 30 minute initial consultation.