Women feeling stress at work

Stress at home and in the workplace can impact on other areas of your life. Whether you are burdened by finances, work conflict, lack of time to fulfil commitments or family issues, counselling can offer proven strategies to help cope with stress. We will explore ways to remove the cause of the stress and if this is not possible due to it being an external influence out of your control, we will implement ways to help you better cope.

What is it?

When things are going well for us and we feel in tune with our environment we feel able to cope with the demands of life. The scales are in balance.  However when something in our life changes and we feel that we are not able to cope with that demand that’s when stress can happen.  The scales tip, we are no longer in balance as the demands of the situation far outweigh our perceived ability to cope with the stressor.

How to reduce your stress.

Stress can show itself  in lots of different ways, and people may experience these to varying degrees. Physical symptoms can include those that we have talked about in short term stress, such as  increased heart rate, sweaty palms, muscle tension, changes in breathing and a dry mouth. It can also cause headaches, nausea or dizziness, digestive problems and sudden weight loss or gain. Other symptoms can include feeling anxious, irritable or lonely. You may be having difficulty sleeping or attending to tasks as you should, so that you begin to put off challenging situations and begin to make excuses.

If you are feeling stressed there are lots of things you can do to help yourself. Identifying the cause of it is the first place to begin. Making time for yourself to relax and also taking  exercise and eating well are  all shown to be beneficial to help  deal with stress.

What is workplace stress?

SE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.

Employees feel stress when they can’t cope with pressures and other issues. Employers should match demands to employees’ skills and knowledge. For example, employees can get stressed if they feel they don’t have the skills or time to meet tight deadlines. Providing planning, training and support can reduce pressure and bring stress levels down.

Stress affects people differently – what stresses one person may not affect another. Factors like skills and experience, age or disability may all affect whether an employee can cope.

When to see your GP about your stress levels

If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
Mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression, are the reason for one-in-five visits to a GP.

Can the NHS help?

The NHS website provides advice on coping with stress. www.nhs.uk

Can counselling help with stress?

A counsellor can help you to explore and understand what is causing your stress. You can then work together to find some specific solutions that will help you to combat it.

As your counsellor, we are someone you can offload to and be totally honest with. We will not judge you.

What causes stress?

tress can be due to one big thing or lots of little things building up.

Causes can include a time of uncertainty or change, being under a lot of pressure, not being in control of or worrying about something, or responsibility that is hard to cope with.

Our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol when we feel threatened, scared or under pressure. When the situation is resolved our hormone levels return to normal.

This increase in cortisol can affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and behaviourally. Symptoms can include raised blood pressure, headaches, tension and muscular pain, concentration difficulties, difficulty making decisions, moodiness, irritability and loss of confidence.

It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your stress. A counsellor can help you explore what you are feeling and why, so that you can take steps to overcome your stress.