Some stress is good for you, but too much stress is bad. Bad for how you feel and bad for your physical health.
When we talk about being ‘stressed’ we mean that feeling of being overloaded with too much to do and too many demands on our time and resources. When stress gets out of hand it leads to illness or depression.
Stress is the way your body naturally copes with danger. Historically this would have been predators or risks which we needed to either fight or run away from fast.
Your body prepares very quickly for this by producing lots of hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline that trigger changes all over your body. Your heart rate increases, you get more oxygen to your limbs, you feel more alert and may start sweating. Oxygen is also diverted from other areas, such as your stomach, and your digestive system slows down.
The above physical changes will help you run from danger but cause troubling symptoms when sitting in an office or trying to sleep. Tense muscles and alertness make sleeping difficult and can cause headaches. Slower digestion leads to tiredness, nausea and an upset stomach.
When stress has been ongoing for too long it’s medically known as ‘chronic stress’ and a person will often describe themselves as being ‘burnt out’.
Your body can no longer fight and you can’t see a way out of the situation.
Your health – both physical and mental – starts deteriorating and most people need help to get out of this situation.
Help can be in the form of counselling such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). If this level of stress has been going on a long time, other medical help may be needed alongside counselling and behavioural therapy.
Acute stress is a short-term natural response to a stressful or dangerous situation. The ‘fight or flight’ response gets us out of a dangerous situation, and then our bodies return to normal. The important thing to note here is that the feelings of stress are removed once the situation has been resolved.
Episodic acute stress happens when you regularly experience repeated bouts of stress. This is very common with high-pressure jobs or when trying to combine work and family life.
This type of stress produces persistent alertness and headaches and often leads to irritability and increased anger or hostility to others. This is often responsible for the breakup of relationships or conflict situations at work. It can quickly develop into more serious chronic stress.
If you think this is you, then you must do something about it. Your body is telling you there is something wrong and you need to listen and seek help.
This is a form of stress associated with very distressing previous events. These can be events from a long time ago. Sufferers with PTSD often get nightmares and flashbacks which causes serious problems with sleeping and concentration and a very negative impact on their quality of life. This is treatable with psychotherapy and, sometimes, medication.
As with many illnesses, the sooner you get help the better and, as stress also impacts those around you, the sooner you will be helping your close relationships too.
Mynurva was set up specifically to help anyone who is stressed, who doesn’t have the time or inclination to visit their GP or who needs help now.
Book an appointment for video counselling with a qualified therapist at a time of your choosing, from your home, office, car or anywhere with an internet or wifi connection.