JMC Psychotherapy, Bolton –
Dealing With Stress
In order to achieve in life, stress is sometimes unavoidable; it’s how we deal with stress that’s important. It may
not simply be a question of trying to avoid stressful situations. It is possible to alleviate stress by removing yourself from the cause, but to do this in certain situations, such as changing job or moving house, is often impractical. It is better to change the way you deal with the existing situations.
A suitable question to ask would be, “Is this situation going to be stressful and, if so, is it still worth doing or is it avoidable?”
You should consider what role you are playing in the situation. The greatest stress factor is actually that we want and expect others to change to meet our needs.
You also need the tools to deal with unexpected stress – for example, you are stuck in a major traffic jam and need to be at a wedding. How could you best alleviate stress here?
First we need to identify how stress affects us physically, emotionally and behaviourally. Then we will look at coping strategies.
What are the symptoms of stress?
Physical stress symptoms
- Butterflies in the stomach- and also perhaps a need to go to the toilet.
- Headache- possibly also brought on by clenching jaw/ grinding teeth.
- Increase in heart rate and sweating.
- Chest pains.
- Skin rashes.
- Trembling hands.
Emotional stress symptoms
- Mood swings.
- Increased worrying.
- Feeling tense.
- Feeling drained and lacking enthusiasm.
- Feeling angry (see Anger Management).
- Feeling guilty.
- Feeling helpless.
- Loss of confidence.
- Lack of self esteem (see Self Esteem).
- Lack of concentration.
Behavioural stress symptoms
- Being prone to minor accidents, feeling clumsy.
- Increased drinking.
- Overeating (see also binge eating).
- Loss of appetite, unhealthy eating.
- Erratic sleep pattern.
- Loss of interest in sex.
- Becoming withdrawn from everyday life.
- Working excessive hours or feeling the need to take work home.
- Being too busy to relax.
- Not taking care of yourself.
What are the coping strategies for stress?
- You need to acknowledge your feelings and have a support system in place. Depressing feelings can often result in depression (see Depression).
- You need to be both flexible and assertive.
- You must learn how to say “no”.
- It is necessary to acknowledge problems as soon as they appear.
- It would be good to ask a friend to help you have a balanced view of the positives and negatives.
- Look at relationships which don’t give you anything back and exhaust you.
- Find a form of exercise that can fit into your daily life.
- Plan your time.
- Develop spiritually (see Law of Attraction)
…and ask for direct help.
How can psychotherapy help me deal with stress?
Psychotherapy will enable you to understand the reasons for the stress in your specific circumstances. We all have different levels of coping skills; some issues may be easy for us, some insurmountable.
We can explore all aspects of this to free you from the burden of stress. I have many years’ mediation experience alongside my therapy experience and I am used to helping people resolve situations. Therapy will help you to understand what you can do differently, as well as understanding what the specific triggers of stress may be for you.
See also Article on Managing Stress
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