Stress or distress is a causative or contributory factor in an increasing number of illnesses in society.
Stress is difficult to define because a situation may be stressful for one person but the same situation is not stressful for the other.
Stress can be described as the arousal of mind and body in relation to demands placed on it. Stress seems to be all around us hopefully it can be contained or managed if not eliminated.
My counselling with people who experience ‘Stress’ would be in supporting them to become aware of what they are sensing, thinking or feeling and how this impacts on their lives.
I would then gently and compassionately explore what causes or contributes toward stress.
With increased awareness and understanding the client can be supported in making adjustments or changes which can contribute toward a healthier, less stressful life.
Here are some experiences of people who have had to cope with stress.
“I always seem to put the needs of others before my own and end up with no time for myself which leaves me feeling agitated as I am worn out“
“I’m spinning plates with so much to do and little time to do it in. I bite off more than I can chew and consequently feel overwhelmed and think that I am a failure.”
“It’s difficult for me to prioritise, I don’t seem able to plan ahead as I am to busy playing catch up…I get headaches and stomach cramps”
My counselling aims to offer client’s an understanding of stress. Together we will explore possible effects which stress is having on their well being such as, behavioural (losing ones temper, eating too much or too little, excessive drinking or generally withdrawing from life), emotional (low mood, apathetic, being overly tearful or having a low self esteem), and physical (headaches, irritable bowel, panic attacks, or a low libido).
We would look at whether there are any particular events, for example such as a loss, health problems, work issues or difficulties with relationships which may have contributed toward stress.
Gathering this information will assist my counselling in that we can discuss strategies and coping mechanisms which can help to deal with stress such as, mindful relaxation techniques, work and life balance, regaining control, healthy eating and appropriate exercise.
If a client experiences physical symptoms I would recommend that they get these checked out with their doctor.
It may be that antidepressant type medication would be helpful and again this possibility should be discussed with the client’s doctor.
So in summary my aim as a counsellor would be to support you in moving toward a healthier more nourishing lifestyle in which you are free to make choices and change for you.
Stephen Derrick - Stress Counselling Hull