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Counselling For Stress In Southampton

Stress is a normal physical response. It helps us deal with danger and demands.  Stress becomes a problem when the internal and/or external pressures you experience are more than you perceive able to cope with. External demands come from other's expectations of you, e.g. deadlines, roles, availability. Internal demands are the rules you make for yourself e.g. to always be there for others or to be perfect etc. 

When you feel threatened, scared or under pressure your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. When you feel  the demand is manageable the hormones will return to normal. However, when you do not feel you have the internal resources or the external support to cope with the stress it can be overwhelming. The main factor in stress becoming unhealthy is your perceived ability to cope. This of course maybe influenced by other factors you are experiencing e.g. concerns about finances. relationships, health etc.

Symptoms of Stress

When you feel unable to cope your body will respond to the stress as a threat of danger, triggering the 'fight' or 'flight' reaction. The increase in adrenalin speeds up the heart rate, affects your breathing, your body becomes tense, your mind races etc. We are designed to be in alert mode for short periods i.e. enough time to get us out of danger. When the body is in a continual state of stress it will have an impact on your physical and mental health. You may find it hard to concentrate, make decisions, you may become irritable and lose confidence. Physical symptoms may include:

  • problems with your heart and blood pressure

  • muscle tension

  • insomnia

  •  indigestion

  •  low immunity

  • restlessness

  • loss or increase of appetite

  • drinking and smoking more

How can therapy for Stress help?

A counsellor can help you explore and understand what is causing your stress. They are there are to provide you with a safe space to express yourself. They are not there to judge. They can help you develop an alternative perspective about your ability to cope. They can work with you to find  solutions that will help you better manage the stress e.g. problem solving skills, or identifying patterns to your stress. 

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