M.Sc. B.A. Relate Cert C.C.
Registered Counsellor BACP & UKRC
Coast Road, Rhyl, LL18 3PL
07551 529 386
Stress is a fact of everyday life. Stress challenges us to problem solve- which can help and hinder us. Modern life is high pressured and we feel pressure to keep up.
If you feel like you are spinning plates and it has become so busy just keeping everything moving that youre exhausted then stress is building. You begin to fear it will come falling down around you.
It can drive and motivate us, helping us to perform to our optimum.
Stress is a force which has complex effects- too little stress can leave us feeling unmotivated but with too much stress can feel immobilised. You can feel stressed by being either under or over challenged.
We have a stress response to help us cope with a new or potentially dangerous situation so these symptoms are normal in these circumstances.
Your body is trying to prepare you, to ready you for what is to come next.
A stress response puts you into red alert mode.
How long we feel stress will also have an affect- the more prolonged the stress the more like it will be to have negative effects.
We can respond to stress in a physical way: with increased blood pressure, increased intestinal activity, increased sweating etc.
You might feel shaky, have palpitations, get a sinking feeling, or a churning inside feeling, you might get dry mouthed or breathe more quickly.
Being a person with perfectionist standards will keep stress high because expectations stay high.
Things like money worries, job se Stress affects work and home as well as you personally- financial security, family worries, health worries all add to the pressure to keep juggling the stressors and people may feel they have no option but to remain in high stress situations. Things which maintain stress are: perfectionist values, procrastination / avoidance, increasing work hours, not saying no or delegating, bottling up feelings, taking work home or working through breaks.
Holmes and Rahe's (1967) stress inventory shows how the accumulation of stress can leave you open to stress related problems over a short time period. Over 300 life units in a year means a person has an 80% chance of developing a stress related illness.
|Life event||Life change units|
|Death of a spouse||100|
|Death of a close family member||63|
|Personal injury or illness||53|
|Dismissal from work||47|
|Change in health of family member||44|
|Gain a new family member||39|
|Change in financial state||38|
|Death of a close friend||37|
|Change to different line of work||36|
|Change in frequency of arguments||35|
|Foreclosure of mortgage or loan||30|
|Change in responsibilities at work||29|
|Child leaving home||29|
|Trouble with in-laws||29|
|Outstanding personal achievement||28|
|Spouse starts or stops work||26|
|Begin or end school||26|
|Change in living conditions||25|
|Revision of personal habits||24|
|Trouble with boss||23|
|Change in working hours or conditions||20|
|Change in residence||20|
|Change in schools||20|
|Change in recreation||19|
|Change in church activities||19|
|Change in social activities||18|
|Minor mortgage or loan||17|
|Change in sleeping habits||16|
|Change in number of family reunions||15|
|Change in eating habits||15|
|Minor violation of law||11|
Consequences to stress can be: Physical (like high blood pressure or stomach ulcers), Behavioural (mood, eating or sleeping changes, increased alcohol or smoking), Cognitive (indecisiveness or critical thinking) and Emotional (anxious, moody, and tearful).
While we cannot live in a stress free world we can look at our relationship with stress and adjust it to help ourselves. Counselling can help you understand the sources of stress and aims to work to help you change your relationship with stress...through learning coping mechanisms, building self esteem and self compassion.