What is stress?
Stress occurs when a person perceives that they cannot cope with the pressure or demands being made on them. Stress can arise from a specific difficult situation/life event or from a combination of various external pressures that may be happening in a person’s life, such as demands at work, home life, relationships, cost of living, uncertainty, illness or loss of a loved one.
Stress is personal to each individual as different people react to pressure differently due to personality, attitudes & beliefs. However, when the pressure a person is feeling is too great or has been going on too long without effective coping mechanisms stress will occur & will reduce a person’s ability to cope on a day to day basis. Also, left untreated stress can lead to an increased risk of developing certain health conditions.
A Few Examples of the Symptoms of Stress;
Psychological: e.g. Excessive worrying/Negative Thinking/ Anxiety
Emotional: e.g. Lack of confidence/Tearful/Mood Swings
Physical: e.g. Muscle tension/Exhaustion/Indigestion
Behavioural: e.g. No relaxation/Social withdrawal/Sleeping problems/ Dependency on caffeine, smoking or alcohol to switch off
What is Stress Management?
Stress Management is a practical approach which supports a person in coping better with the pressures they are dealing with to reduce their stress levels & feel more in control.
It identifies the situation or events that are causing a person to feel stressed & supports them where possible to find practical solutions to improve the situation & so reduce the negative impact it is having on them. This is done using a variety of action- orientated, emotional-orientated &/or acceptance-orientated approaches depending on each person’s circumstances.
Stress Management supports & encourages healthy lifestyle changes & teaches relaxation methods to help you to feel calmer & more in control.
A variety of different Stress Management tools promotes more effective working, better communication skills & builds resilience to help you cope with pressure more favourably.
By creating a better balance, having a more positive outlook & improved coping skills the symptoms of stress (psychological, emotional, physical & behavioural) gradually reduce & your emotional wellbeing can be restored.
For severe & debilitating levels of stress, with associated stress syndromes therapeutic interventions together medical help through your GP may be required.