By 2020, the World Health Organisation estimates that the top four diseases will be stress-related.

Research has shown that the number of people suffering from stress has increased significantly over the last few years.

Many aspects of life cause stress such as work pressure, financial concerns, relationships, major life changes and uncertainty. When a person is stressed this interferes with their ability to manage their life and responsibilities, which in turn can cause further stress.

From a psychological perspective, stress is your body’s way of responding to any demand, pressure or threat. When we experience a sense of threat our mind communicates to the body and the body releases stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. The body then prepares for action or emergency, which is also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response and it is your body’s way of protecting you from your perceived danger.

When stress becomes too overwhelming the body is unable to distinguish between daily stressors and life threatening events.

Many health problems can be exacerbated by stress. Chronic stress can impact on your immune system, digestive and reproductive systems, raise blood pressure and can leave you vulnerable to many mental and physical health problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

 Emotional Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loneliness
  • Low mood

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Poor concentration
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased worry
  • Only seeing the negative
  • Memory problems

Physical Symptoms

  • Frequent colds or flu
  • Dizziness
  • Aches and pains
  • Gasping for air
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling fingers
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Pins and needles
  • Loss of libido
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Digestive problems

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Procrastination
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Frequent crying
  • Restlessness

 What often maintains stress is how we respond to it. The way we think and behave when faced with stress will determine stress levels.

 Treatment for Stress

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be very effective in helping you develop more effective stress management strategies including managing stressful thoughts.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is also a very effective and successful treatment in the reduction of stress. MBSR helps to increase awareness of warning signs and helps you to respond effectively to stress, which in turn helps to reduce stress and improve self-care and wellbeing.

CBT and Mindfulness based interventions are scientifically proven to help improve stress, performance, focus, concentration and overall wellbeing.

Prior to receiving treatment for stress you will have a psychological assessment to help understand the current cause of stress in your life and what factors might be maintaining or increasing stress. A psychological formulation will be provided after the assessment that will explore your stress responses and aim to break negative cycles that maintain stress.

If you notice any warning signs, speak to your GP or book an appointment with a Psychologist. The difficulty is that modern life is full of demands and many people are susceptible to burnout. By recognising the symptoms and causes of stress, you can take the first steps to reduce its harmful effect and improve your health.

If you are experiencing stress and would like to book a therapy appointment, please contact The Consulting Clinic on 016859261 or .The Consulting Clinic has considerable experience and expertise in stress management.