Are you stressed?
At one time or another, were bound to feel stress from work, family,’s finances, social situations, or illness. It might be acute, short-term stress that comes from being stuck in a traffic jam or your boss confronting you at work. It could be chronic, long-term stress, the kind that comes from being in an unhappy marriage for taking care of a sick family member for a long time. Sometimes stress can be motivating, like when it helps you win a competition or meet a deadline. Stress becomes negative or even debilitating when we feel out of control or when it endures for over a long period of time with no relief.
Stress is a normal bodily response to a trigger in your environment that causes you to feel threatened or upset. When your brain perceives danger, it signals your body to activate an automatic process. Stress can include thoughts, emotions, behaviours and physical symptoms, including the following:
- Memory problems and foggy thinking
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Irritability, moodiness, and nervousness
- Insomnia, bodily pains, heart palpitations, and indigestion
Stages of Stress
Hans Selye (1907-1982) first conceptualized the body’s stress response as a series of three stages, referred to as the General Adaptation Syndrome.
Stage 1: Alarm Reaction
This first stage refers to your immediate reaction to a stressor. During this stage, you experience the “fight-flight-or freeze” response, which is your body’s automatic process to deal with a perceived threat-real or imagined. Your body undergoes a series of physiological processes to prepare you to handle the threat. In particular, a signal is sent to the brain’s hypothalamus then to the pituitary gland and finally to the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones trigger your body to immediately react.
Stage 2: Resistance
If the stress remains, your body attempts to adapt to the stressor and maintains a level of alertness. Your body continues to release hormones to help the body react.
Stage 3: Exhaustion
When the stress remains, your body has difficulty resisting the stressor. By this stage, your body becomes exhausted and many bodily functions can become impaired. Someone who experiences daily conflict at work or home, for example, might eventually develop high blood pressure, get sick, experience sleep problems or feel fatigued.
How you respond to stressful situations depends on several things, including your:
- View of the stressful situation – how bad is this? Can you get through it?
- General outlook on life – do you tend to be more positive or negative
- General health and well-being – are you well rested or sleep deprived? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you get enough exercise or is there never enough time to fit it in? Or are you healthy overall, or do you have chronic health problems?
- Your history, including past traumatic events or an early history of trauma
While we can’t eliminate stress completely from our lives, we can better manage stress.
This will lead to improved physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Meeting with a therapist can help you identify what specifically causes your stress and how to better manage stress in your life.
Stress therapy with Cheryl will include a comprehensive and holistic approach to managing stress. The goal of counseling is to help you identify the causes of stress, to develop the necessary skills to cope with stress and foster positive life changes.
Relaxation training, mindfulness, thought changing, and hypnosis are just some of the techniques that have been found to reduce stress. Cheryl can facilitate helpful changes in thinking, emotions, behavior, and relationships, all of which can help alleviate your stress.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is by speaking to Cheryl to discuss stress relief treatment options, answer any questions about the process, and schedule a confidential appointment. Follow these simple steps:
Text today at 250-307-0679 or e-mail me for a free consultation
Or, you can book directly through email Cheryl
Begin your journey towards a fulfilling and healthier life
Cheryl offers both in-person and teletherapy for online anxiety treatment for residents of Alberta and BC. Her private practice is located at 4415 – 29th Street, Vernon BC.