Let’s Talk About Stress

Are you feeling exhausted, irritable, harassed by small requests and that sniffle has been hanging around for months? The chances are, you’ve been in a high stress state and may need to stop and regroup to settle mind and body.

Stress affects us all and there are good and bad stressors in our lives. Good stress, also known as ‘eustress’ – such as a promotion, marking a new personal best at gym, planning for a holiday – is a mild state of stress that helps us conquer fears, set goals and motivate us towards action. Bad stress, also termed as ‘distress’ – such as receiving bad news, illness, tragedy, etc. – may manifest itself and lead to a constant state of tension and anxiety. Chronic, pervasive stress levels, if not relieved, can be extremely detrimental to your physical and mental health. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 90 percent of all illness and disease is stress-related.

Feeling ‘stressed’ involves two internal mechanisms:
1) The psychological perception of challenge or pressure and;
2) Your body’s response, involving various systems, from muscles, to metabolism, to memory.

Given the busyness of our day to day, stress management is usually a low priority for many of us until the pressure becomes too great, or we find ourselves falling ill or becoming intolerable to those around us. Should you feel that you would like to take proactive steps to better cope with stress, you may find it worthwhile to speak to a psychologist.

Stress management practices are generally mindful exercises that help people to shift focus from ‘what has happened in the past’ and ‘what may happen in the future’ to ‘what is happening right now’. This cultivates an awareness of the present moment and immediately brings calm and steadiness to a racing mind and tense body. Within only a few sessions, a psychologist may support you to understand your mind-body stress reactions and provide you with focused stress management techniques that you can employ on a daily basis.

Our psychologists are trained in a wide range of evidence-based stress management and mindfulness practices. Such strategies include the proper identification of personal distress states, breathing, muscle relaxation exercises, formal and informal mindfulness techniques, mild biofeedback interventions, cognitive restructuring, resilience training and enhanced problem-solving techniques.

Importantly, we ensure personal fit and relevance of all strategies we pass onto our clients to ensure maximum benefit. Cause Effect Psychology prefer a focus on practical, results-oriented solutions for our clients and we don’t strictly prescribe to any one line of therapy. For example, many people seeking stress management will comment to us that they are ‘not interested’ in formal mindfulness and meditation– the practice of focused sitting and breathing for a period of time – and we will easily guide an approach that offers more immediate, in-the-moment techniques that they may employ discreetly while at work, school or home.

If you find yourself wanting tools, new perspective and alternatives to help you deal with stress, please book an appointment with one of our skilled ‘stressbusters’ at Cause Effect Psychology.

Written by Kasia Gordon – Cause Effect Psychology

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov

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