All You Need to Know about Stress
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to go back over some of the key topics I’ve blogged about and to give a complete list of my blogs for each topic. This week focuses on all you need to know about Stress – describing the symptoms of stress, both in the workplace and at home and powerful tools and techniques you can use to beat it. Just click on the links to access the blog articles.
First of all, what do we mean by stress and what are the physical, emotional, cognitive (brain) and behavioural symptoms? The “stress hormone” cortisol is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands as part of the fight / flight/freeze basic survival mechanism. Cortisol has the potential to interfere with learning and memory, to increase risk for depression, to lower life expectancy, to lower immune function and bone density, to increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and many more mental and physical symptoms.
These three blogs Coping with Stress, Beat Stress and Stress-busting Techniques offer a wide range of proven strategies to overcome and banish the effects of stress, including mindfulness, relaxation and breathing exercises, physical exercise, getting to know your own unique stress response, taking steps to resolve the stressful situation, looking at what you can control and what you really can’t, smiling and laughing and having fun, looking for support from others, doing what you love, managing your time, establishing good boundaries and not trying to be perfect.
One key way to manage stress is to learn the skill of assertiveness . The way that you communicate with other people can make a huge difference to your stress levels. Being assertive means that you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. It can boost your self-esteem and earn others’ respect. Many of us tend to take on too many responsibilities because we have a hard time saying “no”. Read the 8 top tips to reduce stress by becoming more assertive today!
This blog looks at Stress in the Workplace including 10 top tips to avoid it. Stress is an extremely common phenomenon in our fast-paced lives. When you feel overwhelmed at work, you lose confidence and may become irritable or withdrawn. This can make you less productive and less effective in your job, and make the work seem less rewarding. Even worse, chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional health problems.
Emails in particular have been singled out as a potential cause for stress. This article which I contributed to, published in the Examiner newspaper recently, looks at how our urge to constantly check emails can cause huge stress and affect our personal relationships.
What about stress in our relationships? Modern lives can be stressful enough without also having arguments and unhappiness in our closest relationships. Worries about money and work situations, health and child rearing issues, even working out who will do what around the house, need to be addressed and how a couple talks over these stressful problems either reduces or magnifies the tensions caused by the initial problem. This blog looks at key ways to improve communication – often small positive changes can have a massive effect.
Finally an article which looks at the area of sensitivity – its estimated that 15-20% of us are more prone to stress because we are hard-wired to be more susceptible to both internal and external stimuli. Is this you? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Click here to find out!
Need some advice and support?
If you are experiencing stress in any area of your life and would like to talk it over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!