Stress Counselling - The Symptoms, Management and Treatment

What is stress?

Stress is the way your body reacts to any kind of demand, change, or threat that you experience. You may simply recognise it as a feeling of feeling chronically overwhelmed.

The ‘stress response’ is the same as the ‘flight-or-fight’ response produced by your body when you sense a real or perceived danger. It actually aims to protect you against potential threats. In the right doses, it may help you stay focussed, alert, and energetic. However, beyond a certain point, stress may cause serious damage to your health, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. It may disrupt the overall quality of your life by having a negative effect on your mood, productivity, and relationships.

Warning signs and symptoms of stress

The following signs and symptoms indicate that you are stressed out and your body might be looking for some stress relief:

   Physical symptoms

  • A sense of a racing heart

  • Body aches and pains

  • Fatigue but difficulty properly relaxing and resting

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Chest pain

  • Diarrhoea or constipation

  • Frequent colds

  • Loss of sex drive

   Cognitive symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Poor judgement

  • Memory problems

  • Pessimism

  • Anxiousness

  • Constant worrying

   Emotional symptoms

  • Agitation and short-temper

  • Irritability and inability to relax

  • Feelings of overwhelm

  • Sadness or depression

  • Sense of loneliness

  • Mood swings

  • Fantasising escaping current difficulties yet feeling stuck

   Behavioural symptoms

  • A change in appetite

  • Social withdrawal

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Procrastination or neglect of responsibilities

  • Consuming alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes to relax

  • Nervous habits, such as nail biting and frequent pacing

  • Snappy and impatient in interactions

Stress management

If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, your stress levels have probably crossed the normal limit and it is time to take the reins of your life back!  

There are several effective techniques for stress management now that you’ve recognised the warning signs and identified the symptoms. To take full control of your stress management, you would typically have to change the stressful situation and learn ways to handle things better.

Here are some stress management techniques that can help you relieve your stress.

  • Manage tasks and don’t waste time in your day on non-productive tasks or conversations

  • Exercise regularly and follow a healthy lifestyle

  • Connect with others socially whose company you find uplifting

  • Find time for the things you enjoy

  • Set priorities and learn to say ‘no’

  • Change the stressful situations you can, and learn techniques to adapt to those you cannot change

  • Explore and benefit from stress management programs such as Mindfulness meditation

If you feel overwhelmed, like you have lost control of your life completely and you feel you cannot cope, consider getting professional help for stress. At Kensington Psychology and Well-being, a specialised team of Adelaide stress psychologists awaits to give you the much-needed stress relief you truly deserve. An expert stress psychologist will help you deal with your stress effectively and teach you strategies and relaxation techniques to keep your stress at bay.

 

If your stress levels have reached a dangerous point where you are having suicidal thoughts and/or using drugs and alcohol to cope with it, please do not wait to see your GP or contact LifeLine at 08 9399 6257. For longer term help to regain your resilience and manage your life better, call us at 08 7006 5225. We would love to help in as kind and effective a way as possible!

 Kensington Psychology & Well-Being.   
82 Shipsters Road, Kensington Park, Adelaide. 
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