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Everybody is Stressed, but What Can You do About it?

Stress - Everybody is Stressed, but What Can You do About it?

 

I’ve been a therapist now since 2004 and, for most of that time, when people asked me what I specialised in, I told them that anxiety disorders and work-related stress management were my forte but, on reflection, and for several years now, I would say that both life and work have made me a stress specialist.

That term still covers anxiety disorders and work-stress but, it also covers a whole lot more. Stress affects us all and we are becoming more stressed, not less so. In fact, research from the Chartered Institute of Development has found staff absences due to stress are at their highest levels in over a decade, with the pandemic, the high cost of living and other issues all being significant contributing factors, (click here). But what is stress?

According to the World Health Organisation, “stress can be defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation.”

However, there are two types of stress: good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).

Eustress refers to the sort of challenge and pressure that you thrive under or rise to meet with excitement. It could be a work deadline, or a wedding, or a rollercoaster ride. Meanwhile, distress is what we often mean when we are talking about ‘stress.’ It can refer to seemingly insurmountable pressures in any context (life or work), pressures that you feel you can’t cope with, or are not dealing with as well as you’d like. But stress isn’t a diagnosis in and of itself. It’s an umbrella term for a variety of things including:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Reactive depression
  • Anger-management
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Procrastination
  • Insomnia (often stress related)
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis (also often stress related)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, (nearly always stress related)

 

You can turn to unhealthy coping strategies when you are stressed, such as alcohol, drugs (both prescription and recreational) and comforting eating. Stress can wear you down, it can affect you physically as well as mentally. You can become distracted, less productive, more forgetful, and more prone to illness (stress affects your immune system). Chronic work stress even has its own diagnosis: Burnout Syndrome. This is a purely occupational phenomenon not official recognised until 2019 and characterised by exhaustion, increased negativity (or cynicism) towards your job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Stress is such as small word for something with so many distressing ramifications.

Stress affects both your mind and your body. A little bit of it is good for you, but too much stress can easily overwhelm you. And we are living in a very stressful world; one that doesn’t seem to be interested in getting any easier. Stress quickly mounts up and it soon takes its toll.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help mitigate your stress, such as yoga, meditation, taking regular breaks, and going for long walks. And, if those things aren’t enough then therapy and coaching can help.

I practice rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and clinical hypnotherapy, and both can help you mitigate your stress and build effective coping strategies in the face of it. With REBT and hypnotherapy the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your daily live become something much easier to deal with.

So, if you think your stress is getting the better of you, feel free to book a call. I work face-to-face and online and can see anyone, anywhere (time zones permitting). And online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face, studies say so (click here).

Treating Depression

Depression3 300x215 - Treating Depression

 

Last month I wrote about depression in the briefest of terms (click here). It’s a major contributor to mental health issues and is on the increase. More than a low mood or ‘the blues,’ depression can be severely disabling and a real struggle to get out of. However, you are not without help in that fight. Any and all of the following can and will have a positive effect. Read more

Dealing with Depression

depression 300x180 - Dealing with Depression

 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) depression – which currently affects over 120 million people worldwide – will be one of the leading contributors of global disease, second only to heart disease, by the year 2020. Plus, based on its research, one healthcare provider believes depression will soon overtake stress at the UK’s biggest work-based mental health issue (click here). But, what is depression and why is it on the rise? Read more

Do You Want to Feel like Spring has Sprung?

easter 300x210 - Do You Want to Feel like Spring has Sprung?

 

It’s Easter, a time for renewal, rebirth and resurrection, a celebration of new life and the passing of spring into summer. It’s also the time for a good old spring clean, literally, metaphorically, physically and emotionally. So, as the days get longer, brighter and warmer and as summer beckons, where do you want to start? Read more

Depression: Do You Even Have It?

A recent study found that many people are being wrongly diagnosed with depression and are being medicated when they don’t need to be (click here). Antidepressants are being handed out to people who are just going through a bad patch, or simply feeling a bit down in the dumps about something. In short, they’re being popped on pills whilst simply dealing with the realities of life. But, is depression ever normal and should it always be medicated? Read more

Depression: It’s not Always as Bad as it Sounds

According to research, up to one in five people in Britain are affected by depression at some point in their lives and the use of anti-depressants has reached an all-time high. The word itself has become frightening, even depressing in itself. However, there are many types of depression, including reactive depression, the treatment of which does not necessarily require medication. Read more

Am I a Specialist?

People often ask me if I specialise. It’s a simple question with a slightly less-than-simple answer, as my reply lies somewhere between yes and no. Technically, I specialise in that branch of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) known as rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and clinical hypnotherapy. With them I can successfully help people manage and control a wide variety of problems. However, I do tend to specialise in the treatment of certain conditions over others. Read more