What is stress?


Stress is described as a reaction to an emotional or mental pressure and can often be related to the feeling of being out of control over something. It is how we react to a situation or feeling when we are under pressure or feel threatened and can also be attributed to the ‘flight or fight syndrome’ which can occur when adrenaline or cortisol is released by the body when under stress.

We can experience stress as an individual if there are lots you are trying to deal with or juggle. For example work, family or financial commitments. As a family or a friendship group if you are collectively going through a hard time such as financial hardship, illness or bereavement or part of society, for example during a natural disaster or a pandemic such as Covid-19. 

There is often a link between stress and mental health with stress causing new mental health problems or worsening existing ones. If you are struggling to manage feelings of stress you may develop mental health problems such as anxiety or depression

How To Spot Signs Of Stress

  • While everyone might react differently, these are some of the signs that you may be feeling stressed:
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling short-tempered and irritable
  • Crying more easily than normal
  • Feeling overwhelmed or panicked 
  • Not being able to concentrate 
  • Feeling restless
  • Over or under eating
  • Headaches 
  • If you regularly experience high levels of stress then you might find it beneficial to have counselling/CBT.

Stress counselling and treatment options with Hope Therapy

We often feel a certain amount of stress when we are faced with certain challenges through life. However, sometimes in certain situations, for example, if we are placed under prolonged conditions of stress or following a traumatic incident these levels of stress may intensify. This is due to physiological and psychological stress symptoms becoming more severe. One method of treatment that is available to help with prolonged stress symptoms is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). 

CBT works on the idea that the way you think affects how you feel, and in turn, your feelings affect your behaviour. By challenging the way you think about social situations that feed your anxiety, you’ll be able to establish new thought processes that combat the anxiety.

Through CBT, one of our therapists will work with you to discover any unhelpful rules, assumptions or predictions that feed your anxiety. They will also ask you to describe the physical symptoms you experience and any safety behaviours you use to avoid or cope with the anxiety.

Through CBT for stress, you will learn how to challenge the thoughts and emotions that trigger the stress. By being able to capture the thought and the fear, you are able to rationalise it, and in time replace it with more balanced thought processes. 

CBT will also help you to face the social situations that feel overwhelming, gradually and safely. They will also teach you tools and skills to manage the physical symptoms to be able to feel more in control in a social situation.

Talking therapies are also an option, for a gentle guide and safe space to talk about how stress  is affecting your life. Finding a judgement-free zone, where you are able to open up about your worries and concerns can be a lifeline when you begin to face your fears. Our therapists are guided by, and what steps you feel comfortable taking.

As specialists in supporting Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Hope Therapy offers a range of evidence based approaches and products. We offer face-to-face support, both one-to-one and in groups. We also offer a range of recorded and Internet based products, that give even more flexibility, depending on your needs.

We offer face-to-face sessions and remote sessions via Zoom, Skype or Phone so are in accordance with current self distancing guidelines.

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