If stress starts to affect your performance and health, you have gone beyond the best level of stress for you. You need to find ways to manage that stress more effectively.
We have helped hundreds of people just like you manage their stress whether it be work-life balance stress, job related stress, relationship stress, family life stress or financial stress.
Make real changes and start living the life you want
- Identify the underlying causes of your stress.
- Examine the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that contribute to your stress.
- Identify and understand your stress triggers.
- Develop strategies to manage stressful situations including diet and exercise change, getting good social support, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, assertiveness and communication skills, problem solving skills, goal setting, and time management
- Improve your ability to handle pressures and your reactions to them.
- Learn techniques that are effective for you for the long-run.
Things you should know about stress and stress management
- If you feel over stressed you’re not alone. There has been a marked rise in stress levels across all spheres of life in recent decades.
- Some stress is good BUT having too much stress is very destructive. It can result in a deterioration of performance and unpleasant psychological and physical effects. It also makes you more susceptible to illness (e.g. colds, ulcers, cold sores, urinary tract infections) and, in the longer term, disease.
- Instead of trying to get rid of stress, it is more useful to learn stress management. You need to find the best level of stress for you to keep you motivated but not overwhelmed.
Is Stress stopping you from living the life you want?
Life these days is full of stress. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race.
You become stressed when too many demands are placed on you, or when the resources you have to cope with stress are inadequate to deal with the demands. Demands can include:
- Major life events – which can be positive (getting married) or negative (the death of a loved one).
- Internal demands – expectations you have of yourself, which may be unrealistic (“I must be perfect in everything I do”), or too rigid (“There is only one way to do things).
- Environmental demands – the practical, everyday hassles like, traffic jams, rushing to be on-time, being late, supermarket check-out queues, misplacing things, difficulties with technology….
- Interpersonal demands – Your social life (or lack of one) can be a big source of stress. Either too much or too little social stimulation can be stressful: too little and you feel lonely, estranged, and isolated; too much and you get overwhelmed by social demands and the needs of other people.
Am I over stressed or is what I’m experiencing normal?
If you, or someone you know, if suffering from severe or chronic stress you may recognise some of the following warning signs.
- Physical effects such as headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain and upset stomach
- Emotional reactions such as anxiety, anger, frustration and depression
- The adoption of coping behaviours like overeating, smoking, excessive coffee consumption, drinking too much and abuse of recreational drugs.
- decreased motivation
- Narrowed attention and an inability to concentrate
- Impaired decision making and degraded problem solving
- Increased antisocial behaviours (e.g. irritability, short temper, emotional outbursts)
- Increased frequency of colds, ulcers, cold sores, urinary tract infections
Uncertainty, deadlines, family pressures, financial pressures, work pressures, expectations to perform, expectations to be available can all become sources of stress.
Patterns of Stress
If a pattern of stress goes on day after day, week after week, and month after month, you are headed for trouble.
You should seriously consider counselling to understand your stress and develop better stress management techniques. Pay attention to the signs and listen to what your body is telling you. The warning signs of stress are nothing to take lightly or ignore.
A psychologist can help you with stress management if you have been experiencing any of the symptoms for an extended period, or if you are finding that stress is significantly impacting on your relationships or way of life. It’s important not to wait for things to get worse.
Psychological Counselling for Stress Management
Instead of trying to get rid of stress, it is more useful to manage it.
Try to find the best level of stress for you to keep you feeling motivated but not overwhelmed.
- Not enough stress in your life can make you feel depressed or bored
- Some stress can help you to focus and keep you feeling motivated
- Too much stress can make you feel overwhelmed and lead to health problems such as headaches, stomach problems, rashes, sleep problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke.
Williams K, Kurina LM (2002) The social structure, stress, and women’s health. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 45: 1099-1118, 2002
Miller, Lyle H. and Smith, Alma Dell (1993) The Stress Solution: An Action Plan to Manage the Stress in Your Life. New York: Pocket.
Common names and related terms for stress include acute stress, episodic acute stress, chronic stress, work stress, job related stress, relationship stress, financial stress, anxiety, burnout, work-life balance, worry, nervousness, over stressed