What is Stress?
Stress is a natural physiological and psychological response to a perceived threat or demand. It is your body's way of preparing you to face a challenging or potentially dangerous situation. For example, if you see a bear in your carport your body will prepare you to deal with that by releasing stress hormones that you will put you in a state of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. As you know, stress tress can arise from various sources, such as work pressure, relationship issues, financial difficulties, major life changes, or traumatic events.
When faced with a stressor, your body activates its stress response. This response involves the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which trigger a series of physiological changes in your body. You might notice your heart beating really fast, your face might feel hot and look red, you might experience a headache, your muscles may feel tighter and you may feel your stomach clenching. The stress response is designed to help you react quickly and effectively to perceived threats.
While acute stress can be helpful and necessary in certain situations, chronic or excessive stress can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health. Prolonged activation of the stress response without adequate recovery periods can lead to negative consequences for your physical and mental health.
It's important to note that stress is subjective, and what may be stressful for you may not be for another. Different people may respond differently to the same stressor based on their coping mechanisms, resilience, and personal experiences.
For you to manage your stress effectively, you need to recognize its presence, understand its impact, and implement strategies to reduce its negative effects on you. Recognizing stress means you need to be aware of your personal early warning signs that you are experiencing stress. For some people that may mean feeling more tired than usual, or grabbing junk food more often. Strategies that might help you manage stress effectively can include practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, seeking social support, and utilizing stress management techniques such as time management and problem-solving skills.
If you require additional help managing stress, we can provide additional support in managing and coping with stress.