What is stress and how do I manage it?
Stress management is a term for how we cope with the different forms of stress in our lives. Stress is the way your body responds to challenging situations.
When you are challenged your body releases hormones to prepare you for action. Physical changes happen in your body, such as:
- increased heart rate and blood pressure ,
- tightening of muscles,
- senses sharpen, and
- breathing accelerates.
This all happens to increase your drive and ability to deal with the challenge at hand.
Experiencing a little bit of stress over a short space of time can be a positive thing as it increases our energy and drive so we are able to tackle challenges. But too much stress over a prolonged period of time can cause serious mental and physical health issues and negatively impact our lives and well-being.
What are common stressors in life?
Some of the common experiences that cause stress include:
- workplace stress – lack of security, feeling overworked or undervalued, conflict, unclear expectations, poor communication, limited control, deadlines, long hours, inequitable workload distribution, job change or loss;
- relationship issues – poor communication, sexual issues, conflict, relationship breakdown, separation or divorce, managing children and parenting, financial strain, differing values, life transitions, or significant loss;
- chronic health conditions – long term physical or mental illness, serious or life-threatening disease, loss of cognitive capacity or physical abilities, change or loss of role due to health issues, loss of identity;
- emotional stress from life transitions or grief and loss – financial stress, moving house, ’empty nest’ syndrome, separation or divorce, change or loss of job, retirement, chronic health issues, death of a loved one.
The effects of these types of stressors on our lives, relationships, and well-being can be significant.
What happens when you are under stress?
Stress can affect every aspect of our lives if not managed properly. Common signs of stress can include:
- poor sleep and diet,
- reduced level of health,
- muscle tension and headaches,
- moodiness and irritability,
- strained relationships,
- substandard performance at work,
- self-medicating with alcohol and drugs (including over-the-counter, prescription, and illicit substances),
- isolation and withdrawal from usual activities.
You can find more details about the symptoms and management of stress at healthdirect: an online gateway to trusted mental health resources and content from Australia’s leading health organisations.
How I can help you manage stress
You don’t have to suffer through stress alone. I can support you to manage your stress and improve your everyday functioning. Together we can:
- find relief and manage your stress symptoms,
- develop your stress management skills and build your resilience,
- improve your problem-solving and time management skills,
- learn relaxation strategies, and generally
- regain control of your thoughts, emotions, and how you deal with stressful situations.
I provide a variety of approaches in the way we work together and the activities we undertake to help you relieve and reduce your stress levels, and learn how to manage stress more effectively. Our stress management work can include:
- identifying and understanding your personal stress triggers,
- addressing underlying issues contributing to your stress levels,
- identifying and reframing negative thoughts causing you stress,
- developing a personalised stress management plan,
- learning tips and techniques for stress management, and
- making positive changes in your life to prevent chronic stress levels.
Your stress management sessions with me
You can choose your time and book your sessions with me directly simply by using the Contact form. And my sessions are flexible so you can fit them in around your other commitments.
Our sessions will be online by video chat, or over the phone. You decide what best suits you. And you can switch between the two depending what you feel like on any given day. Working together online or by phone means your can participate from wherever you are so long as you have access to a phone or computer.
If you want to chat with me on the phone while sitting in your pj’s from the comfort of your couch – that’s fine by me. I know that sometimes the thought of doing anything more than that can in itself be stressful!
Let’s get on top of your stress and rediscover that elusive, more relaxed version of you!