Stress is a natural physiological, mental and emotional response we have in challenging situations we feel unable to deal with. Stress response triggers when we feel threatened, fearful, overwhelmed or uncertain. It can also be thought of as a fight, flight or freeze response to a real or imagined circumstance in which we feel a lack of control or an inability to cope with the perceived threat.

Symptoms of stress

When we face a stressful event, our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause physical changes in the body, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. Our breathing and metabolism speeds up. Our pupils dilate and we sweat more. These physical changes help us to react quickly and effectively to get us through stressful situations. These are the usual signs of acute stress. When stress stays high, additional symptoms can be experienced.

Symptoms of chronic stress include

  • Physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, fatigue, sleep disturbance, insomnia, stomach upset, diarrheal, frequent headaches, muscular aches and pains, weakened immune system, high blood pressure
  • Psychological symptoms such as worry, fear, anger, tearfulness, irritability, anxiety, helplessness, difficulties with concentration or memory, or feeling overwhelmed

At Mind Psychology, we can help you learn new coping strategies to deal with stressful situations. We will work with you in a collaborative manner to understand triggers, thinking patterns and emotional responses that might be increasing your stress levels. We utilise, Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), Acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness to support you in your journey towards wellbeing.

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