What is stress?

Stress is something that all of us have encountered at one time or another. For some, the source of their stress might come from the pressures of everyday life, such as family or bills. For others, unexpected or one-off stress might build up as a result of a life-changing event like a death or a divorce.

Although people are unique and stress affects us all in different ways, everyone’s stress manifests itself physically as well as emotionally. Common symptoms of stress are feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, insomnia, palpitations or ‘butterflies’, and often overwhelming emotions and tearfulness.

In all cases, the stress hormone Cortisol is released when we feel stressed which provokes our inbuilt ‘fight or flight’ reaction, and in some cases a little stress can be helpful, kicking us into action or giving a boost of adrenaline. However, too much stress can affect us both mentally and physically – stress is the second major cause of illness at work after back pain and is increasingly becoming a major societal problem.

How can Clear Counselling help?

Since stress can build up and eventually affect us physically via our immune system and blood pressure, it’s important to understand your own triggers, and counselling can be a great way to help you explore the causes of your stress. Discussing how stress is affecting you with an unbiased, non-judgemental counsellor can be refreshing, and may help you to find ways to cope better; encouraging a sense of control over what might feel like a powerless situation.

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