The vast majority of people today are under some level of stress. This can occur because of issues at the workplace, problems in relationships, trying to balance work and family and even because of financial issues.
The more stressors that are present, and without effective coping mechanisms, stress can develop from an occasional issue to a chronic condition. Chronic stress is one of the leading factors in an increase in the risk for depression, and with more stress in our lives it is essential to be able to identify the signs of stress and to implement effective stress reduction techniques.
Many people coming into a London psychotherapist show classic signs of chronic stress. However, because this is a chronic or long-term condition, many people fail to see the signs in their own behavior.
The most common signs and systems of stress include:
- Increased levels of irritation, restlessness, and agitation
- Problems with concentration, problem solving, decision making and logic
- Difficulty in learning new concepts
- Problems with concentration, focus and ability to get tasks done
- Racing thoughts
- Sleep problems
- Decreased ability to enjoy pleasant events, activities and social interactions
- Social withdrawal
- Extreme physical and mental fatigue
- Inability to “unwind” and relax
- Unexplained health conditions from rashes and respiratory conditions to digestive problems
- Headaches, migraines and neck and back pain without a known cause
- Increased use of prescription or illegal drugs, alcohol or other behaviours to try to “relax”
Often people with chronic stress have random times of extreme anxiety which may include physical changes such as increased respiration, racing heart rate, high blood pressure, and even chest pains.
Often a medical doctor is the first stop for these people, but when there are no medical issues the patient may be referred to a London psychotherapist specializing in counselling or therapy for stress.
Research shows that chronic stress changes the physiology of the body and the brain. The adrenal system is constantly on, and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol are very high. This creates the fight, flight or freeze response in the body without any relaxing period, adding stress for the body to function.
Many of the symptoms of chronic stress are the same as those seen in patients with depression. Early help from a London psychotherapist can help to effectively identify these symptoms of stress and to develop effective coping mechanisms to help lower the risk of depression.
Counselling and psychotherapy are highly effective options for a person to work with a trained professional to identify stressors in their life. In some cases, the stressor may be linked or related to past events, particularly trauma, which will require a more in-depth psychotherapy approach to treatment.
The good news is that stress can be managed. Therapists can use talk therapy techniques, art therapy, yoga, lifestyle changes and mindfulness training to help the client to learn to manage stress.
Once a client is able to recognize stress is present, they are also able to learn effective techniques to manage stress. A top London psychotherapist will help the client to find the right techniques to address stress not just immediately, but for a lifetime.