Stress and Anxiety

For many people ‘stress’ is a normal part of everyday life. Some even report that they thrive on the adrenaline created by stress and feel they can achieve more when under pressure.

However, as with most things, too much stress can becomes a problem when it has life limiting consequences. By this I mean, activities you used to find fun and pleasurable you no longer find to be so. You may feel tired more often than usual, have disturbed sleep or find yourself overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. Physical complaints including migraines, asthma and high blood pressure can also be triggered or exacerbated by stress. Some people also start to feel depressed. Anxiety can also produce unpleasant side-effects of sweating, tension, panic and avoidant behaviour, and if left unmanaged can cause difficulties in your relationships, at work, and in your general mood levels. All these signs are indicators that ‘normal’ stress has tipped over into ‘unhealthy’ stress or anxiety.

A great many anxiety problems arise because of extreme levels of stress. There are several conditions for which anxiety is the main symptom including panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – all of which tend to be focused around a specific issue or event.

Alternatively, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety condition that is characterised by excessive, uncontrollable and non-specific worry.

If this sounds like your experience, then you may find it helpful to know that you are not alone; anxiety is one of the most common reasons that people seek counselling. Psychotherapy and counselling can help you manage your stress and anxiety by exploring both the root causes of your anxious feelings and the elements which are sustaining them.