"Oh, I'm so stressed out at work."
"My boss is really stressing me out.."
"I'm too stressed to think about dieting right now"
All of us experience stress in our day to day lives. Modern life is highly stressful, with many demands and not enough time to carry them out. We all seem to know what another person means when they talk about being stressed. But what is stress?
Basically, stress is a state of physiological (in the body) and psychological (in the mind) tension, which occurs in response to various life pressures.
Having too much stress is very destructive. Some of the detrimental effects of long-term or chronic stress include the following:
Chronic stress has been linked to other serious health problems, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Migraine headaches, peptic ulcers, arthritis, colitis, asthma, cardiac arrhythmia, sexual problems, circulation problems, allergies, and even cancer have been linked with stress.
Having either too little or too much stress results in a deterioration of performance and unpleasant psychological and physical effects. In order to achieve and maintain an optimum level of stress, we need to have an awareness of the demands placed upon us, and adequate coping strategies to manage those demands.
Stress occurs when too many demands are placed on us, or when the resources which we have to cope with stress are inadequate to deal with the demands. Demands can include:
Major life events - significant things that can happen to us, which can be positive (getting married) or negative (the death of a loved one). Take the Stress Test to check out your current levels of stress.
Internal demands - these are the expectations we have of ourselves. If these are unrealistic ("I must be perfect in everything I do"), or rigid ("There is only one way to do things), they can be intolerable sources of stress. People who worry habitually may consider themselves to be sensitive and overly emotional. There are advantages in being like this since this sensitivity often means they can understand other people quickly and hence are often liked in return. But their emotionality and their proneness to worry can be a handicap. Pessimism and negativity may also generate unnecessary stress. These traits are the seeds from which anxiety problems can grow.
Environmental demands - these are the practical, unremarkable, everyday things such as financial problems or becoming tired of our routine, that add further pressure and strain to our lives.
Interpersonal demands - these are the pressures placed upon us through our relationships with other people. This may include stressful circumstances such as disagreements with the boss, marital disagreements, or the responsibility and frustration associated with being a parent.
Being able to deal with stress in an effective way can help to prevent the nasty health problems associated with stress - high blood pressure, heart disease, and ulcers. Good stress management involves using a number of different strategies which complement each other.
Stress management involves learning the following strategies:
A Treat Yourself Well Sydney psychologist or clinical psychologist will take you through an individually tailored stress management program, suited to your unique needs. You will start to see results from the beginning of this highly effective program. Usually, 6 sessions are all that is needed to effect lasting change.
If you are interested in learning more, or to make an appointment, call Treat Yourself Well Sydney on (02) 9555 4810 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org