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Anxiety and depression - Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety, depression and stress

Stress and anxiety are your body’s natural response to frightening situations. They are both perfectly normal survival instincts, designed to protect you from danger. However, when you have a heightened or prolonged response to a stressful situation, stress and anxiety can manifest in your thoughts, feelings and in  

                                                                                   physical symptoms.

While everyone experiences stress and anxiety, the factors influencing them vary from person to person.  For some, the thought of an exam or job interview may bring on feelings of worry or nervousness, for others having a baby or simply losing house keys might trigger apprehension and fear. Stress and anxiety can also be caused by more irrational thoughts and feelings, for example encountering a spider.

Depending on which research you read, a person’s predisposition to stress and anxiety can be both inherited and learnt. It may also develop from a trauma that has not been properly processed in our minds.

Whatever the cause, the feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control can lead to symptoms – and counselling for stress and anxiety could help alleviate these.

There are a number of recognised stress and anxiety disorders, which can be diagnosed by your GP, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Panic Disorder. Yet many of us suffer from the symptoms of stress and anxiety on a daily basis without a medical diagnosis.

Panic attacks are one of the most common ways that stress and anxiety can become obvious. However, there are a whole host of other symptoms including restlessness, irritability, confusion, difficulty concentrating, frustration, despair and a constant fear that something terrible is going to happen. These feelings can lead to physical symptoms such as trembling, sweating, dizziness, nausea, headaches, insomnia and problems with your digestive system.

Stress and anxiety counselling can help you to deal with resulting feelings of tension or depression and give you ways to cope when you have these feelings in the future.

When do stress and anxiety become a problem?

As long as you have a coping strategy for periods of stress and anxiety, and can switch off when you need to, they can have a positive influence on your life. Stress and anxiety motivate us to be the best that we can be and help us to maintain focus. But when you no longer feel that you are coping and that stress and anxiety are reoccurring and overwhelming you, it is time to recognise that you have a problem.

We all tell ourselves that things will get better and that we are coping but stress and anxiety have a nasty way of creeping into everyday life and settling down without you realising. Left unchecked, stress and anxiety lead to bigger problems such as mental health issues, alcohol or substance abuse, social anxiety, a decreased desire for intimacy and poor health.

Have you been sleeping poorly lately? Has your appetite changed? Are you losing your temper with your family, friends or colleagues? Have you stopped enjoying life?  These are all indications that stress and anxiety have taken over and that you might find the support of a stress and anxiety therapist helpful. Stress and anxiety do not need to have a detrimental impact on your everyday life.

How can you manage stress and anxiety?

In our modern society there is often a feeling of having to ‘deal’ with stress and anxiety. Because of this, many people suffer in silence.

Often you can help to lessen your symptoms with a combination of relaxation, exercise, change in diet and breaking the habits that trigger your stress and anxiety. Little changes such as taking that dance class that you always fancied or spending more time with your friends can help. Or you could try stress and anxiety therapy to gain a new perspective. It is also important to learn to stay in the present instead of worrying about things that have happened in the past or may happen in the future.

If you are struggling to find the right combination of things to help you manage your symptoms alone, there are a range of therapies available which can help to alleviate the reoccurrence of stress and the overwhelming feelings of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness (MBSR) are all therapies that can help you to face your issues, rebuild your self-esteem and get life back to normal. Anxiety and depression can prevent you from moving forward in your life and my aim is to enable clients to focus on the positive elements of their lives.

Through stress and anxiety therapy you can learn to identify and address the root causes of your feelings and develop techniques that will allow you to self soothe when you encounter them in the future. Your therapist will work with you to build a treatment plan and consider lifestyle changes so that you no longer have to suffer in silence.

Stress and anxiety can cause you to have habitually negative and depressing thoughts. If you feel that you need some help with focusing on the positive and enjoying the present, contact me through the contact form on the top menu for more information. Anxiety and depression can be managed and overcome.  Contacting us is the first positive step to get help quickly.  2012.