Stress, Counseling, and Therapy

Stress, Counseling, and Therapy

What does stress means?

Stress is our body’s response to any challenge or a demanding situation. Positive stress may help in avoiding any perpetual danger or enables an individual in meeting any deadline. However, if it lasts for a long period, it can be harmful to health which may be physical, emotional, or mental. It triggers a person’s fight-or-flight response to enable fighting the stressor or running away from it by the release of stress hormones. The most common example of this in day-to-day life is when one is stuck in heavy traffic and is late for a scheduled important meeting while watching the time pass by. Now, the hypothalamus which is a controlling station present in our brains will act by deciding to send a command to release the stress hormones. As a result of this, a person’s heart beats faster, the quickening of breath takes place and all of our body’s muscles get ready for some reaction or response. This bodily response was designed for protecting the body in an emergency. However, if this stress response is kept firing, on a day-to-day basis, it can put one’s health at a serious level of risk.

Is stress harmful?

Every individual experiences signs of being stressed from time to time which may be due to any small event belonging to routine responsibilities such as work or family to serious forms of life events like disease diagnosis, an event of war, or death of any loved person. In immediate and short-term life situations, stress may be beneficial to our health as it may help one in coping with potentially threatening situations in life.

Types of stress

There are three different types of stress, Acute stress, Episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.

a) Acute stress: The acute stress response can affect anyone. It is the body’s instant reaction to any situation which is new as well as challenging. A very common example of this kind of stress is felt when a person has a very narrow escape from an automobile accident.

Acute stress can be the result of any activity that a person enjoys doing. It may be a frightening as well as thrilling feeling when a person rides on a roller coaster or when he or she is surfing in tides or is sitting on a giant wheel. These short bursts of acute stress do not cause any harm to a person. They are even good for an individual. Stressful situations provide a person’s body as well as brain some practice in the development of the best possible response to similar stressful events in the future. Once the event is over, one’s body’s systems resume normal functioning.

However, severe acute stress is a kind of stress that may lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder or any other mental health issues. This usually happens when one has faced a life threat or lived under strife-torn conditions such as war.

b) Episodic acute stress: Episodic acute stress occurs when a person suffers from regular episodes of acute stress. This usually happens if one is constantly anxious and is worried about many events that one may suspect to happen in the near future. One remains with the constant feeling of one’s chaotic life and the person appears to move from one crisis to another constantly. This type of stress is usually seen in certain professionals like those who work in law enforcement agencies or among firefighters as these jobs may constantly lead to frequent exposure to highly stressful situations. Just like severe acute stress, even episodic acute stress can significantly impact one’s general physical health as well as mental wellness.

c) Chronic stress: When a person is exposed to high levels of stress for an extended period, he or she develops a chronic form of stress. Long-term or chronic stress may have a negative effect or impact on one’s health which may contribute to the development of other diseases or disorders such as anxiety, cardiovascular disease, depression, high blood pressure levels, and an extremely weak host immune system. Constant exposure to chronic stress may result in frequent disease presentations like headache, Gastrointestinal problems, the most common of which is diarrhea along with disturbances affecting sleep. Thus, gaining knowledge or insight into the various types of stresses helps in their recognition which can help manage them.

What are the reasons for Stress?

There are various causes of stress which may be distinct for each individual. A person can have stress as a result of certain bad situations or any sticky situations.

Some of the common reasons for stress are:

  1. Getting either married or divorced

  2. Joining a new job

  3. Bereavement due to loss of a close person

  4. Losing job or demotion

  5. Retirement

  6. Expecting a baby or following child-birth

  7. Financial problems

  8. Change of address

  9. Suffering from any serious disease

  10. Issues at workplace and problems in family

What are the Long Term Effects of Stress?

Stress can result in various effects on a person’s body such as Irritable behavior; Anxiety and depression; Headache; Lack of sleep or Insomnia; Tendency to overeat or not having enough food; Alcohol and/or drug abuse and Social withdrawal.

If a person already is diagnosed with any respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema, any stressful situation may increase the severity of the disease thereby; resulting in breathing problems. Chronic stress may elevate a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes. Stress can directly influence the movement of food in the gastrointestinal tract thus, causing either diarrhea or constipation. Severe stress symptoms may also cause a person to experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain. Constant stress does not allow relaxation of body muscles which can result in headache, back pain, shoulder pain, and body ache. With time, a person will stop exercising and depend on the use of medication for pain relief. It can result in erectile dysfunction or impotence. There is an increased risk of development of infection in male reproductive organs such as the prostate and testes. In women, stress may adversely affect the menstrual cycle which may lead to irregular, heavy and painful menstruation. Symptoms of menopause may get elevated. Individuals who are under chronic stress get more susceptible to viral diseases such as flu and the common cold. Stress increases the total time taken for recovery from any illness or physical injury.

Tips to Manage Stress

  1. Individual must know their stress triggers

  2. Look after themselves

  3. Avoid unhealthy habits

  4. Connect with others

  5. Take control

  6. Accept what you cannot change

  7. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet

  8. Observe 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night

  9. Regularly exercise

  10. Reduce use of caffeinated drinks and alcohol

  11. Remain connected socially to receive support

  12. Keep some time free for rest as well relaxation and self-care and learn techniques of meditation such as deep breathing.

How Counseling and Therapist Help Stress

Stress can be relieved in an individual by many common methods. Various techniques may be used as well. These will help individuals to relieve stress that affects various levels, such as physical and emotional. Consulting a counselor or therapist regarding stress is also an important part of localizing and decreasing it in a long duration. After acclimatizing with a person, a therapist can introduce various healthy strategies to lower the stress levels. They might design the therapy that best fits one’s needs. A therapist or psycho-counselor helps in learning the management of stress which can improve health and longevity. Several therapies help a stressed individual to relax that include- yoga, aromatherapy, or reflexology. A counselor/psychotherapist functions by connecting a person with stress along with various personal development programs and sessions of group therapy.

Can We See a Doctor in stressful conditions?

Individuals who are facing overwhelming stress must consider help from a doctor. However, doctors do not usually prescribe medications for stress relief unless there is an underlying disorder like- depression or anxiety.

When Should We Do Counseling and Therapy?

Individuals in whom stress has been found to affect daily activities must take professional help. If by any chance you experience any of the following emotions or symptoms, you may use help:

  1. You feel overwhelmed by many things.

  2. Over fatigue can make you unproductive.

  3. Leading you to violence or rage and too much anger

  4. When you have intrusive thoughts

  5. Losing interest around you

  6. Feeling hopeless and losing motivation

  7. Feeling distressed around others

  8. Panic attacks

How does Centric Healthcare assist?

There is the availability of specialists daily with 7 days a week access, all healthcare providers and therapists are well-trained; Personal care is prioritized plus there is the availability of medical assistance.

Home Health-care Services

These act by evaluating response to medications and handling side-effects if any of these medications result in mental health issues. Chronic medical conditions may lead to low self-worth and depressive feeling which may require the help of a counselor. Then, the counselors can assist with issues arising from pain, grief, or loss that tend to cause anxiety or personality disorders. Mental health therapists not only address your mental health problems but also provide instructions to your immediate caregivers.