Stress is described as the body’s response to the demands of life.
The body naturally responds to stress and perceived danger in order to survive. There are three responses to stress
- Fight – stay and face the danger.
- Flight – run away as fast as you can.
- Freeze – where you do nothing and just freeze.
These are primal, natural responses to danger and allows the body to react in life threatening situations.
However, in the modern world, the danger is more emotional rather than physical and life threatening.
With emotional stress our bodies react the same way. We either fight, run or totally freeze.
Stress can be caused by a particular event such as a death, loss of a job, exams etc.
At this moment during COVID-19 there is a lot of uncertainty and fear related to not knowing what is going to happen.
However, stress is not always caused by a big life event, life itself is stressful.
Prolonged stress can lead to hypertension. That is, the more stress you feel the less stress and life events that you are able to deal with, and so in turn the less you need in order to become overwhelmed. This can become a cycle where even small stresses can become difficult to deal with.
The level of stress a person feels is less related to the amount of actual stress or stressful events and more closely related to expectations. In these times people seem to expect that they can juggle many demands, do them all well, and do them easily. There is very little room for failure, or down time.
In trying to juggle what you think everyone else wants from you, you are not focusing on you and what makes you happy. You get forgotten in it all.
In therapy we provide stress management techniques in order to quickly reduce the bodies response to stress.
After than we will look at your stressors, your reactions to them and challenge your expectations.