What Is Stress?
Stress is the response that you have to any given situation. It is the reaction that you have without giving it much thought. You usually have this kind of reaction to a situation because it has surprised you or you perceive it as something beyond your ability to cope with or out of your control. The real key to the arrival of stress in your life is not so much what is happening to you but it is how you perceive the situation. Stress can be mental, emotional, or physical based on your perception—it can appear as an upset stomach, self-doubt, or persistent negative thoughts. Stressful events and situations can occur based on many different triggering factors, from the loss of a relationship to starting a new job. However, perception precedes your reaction therefore you have to see the situation as more than just an event if it is going to make you feel stressed. If it were an equation it would be stressor + your negative perception = stress.
The stress reaction is neither good nor bad in itself. It depends on the circumstances. Stress is good when it protects us in times of danger or helps us to adapt to change. It is inevitable and necessary for survival. Stress becomes a problem when there is too much of it, when it lasts too long or when it comes too often and starts to create unpleasant symptoms and damage to our body.
What is TRAUMA?
Trauma comes from the Greek word for “wound.” Traumatic experiences deeply wound us, even if they happened years and decades ago. Traumatic experiences can shape us, and harm our worldview. When a traumatic experience occurs in life it is a perceived threat to your survival, and the compounding effects can greatly alter your life.
Trauma is your body’s response to harm or danger, whether that harm or danger is seen or experienced. Research has shown that experiences such as child abuse, victimization, homelessness, natural disasters, workplace accidents, loss of a family member, and more can cause trauma. Your body responds to a stressful event through shock or denial, which can have long-term effects. Once your mind tries to adapt to a traumatic stressful event, you might experience traumatic flashbacks, physical symptoms, strains on your mental well-being, issues in relationships, and more. Physical symptoms might be nausea, tightening of the muscles or headaches. It’s important to remember that these responses are natural and normal, but the average person might have trouble dealing with them. That’s where a therapist can help.
Trauma can be haunting. It affects your life in various ways that are both obvious and invisible and can be brutally difficult to deal with alone. At Whole Life Counselling, we don’t want you to face your trauma alone. By working with a therapist, you can address the issues at the heart of your trauma and come out on the other side with a new perspective that heals your worldview and makes you feel seen and understood.
How Is Stress Related To Trauma?
Trauma can be a result of toxic stress, especially if someone experiences extreme stress. Stress is not limited to negative experiences, and it’s important to understand that stress and trauma can be complicated. Navigating your own stress can be difficult and overwhelming, which is why it’s important to talk with a therapist if you’re feeling like you’re being brought down by persistent stressful episodes. Stress and trauma can often be interlinked, and major stressors can seemingly come out of nowhere.
If you’ve thought about enlisting a therapist or counsellor to help you manage stress, they can help you make great strides in identifying stressors and dealing with them in a healthy way. Therapy brings about an awareness that helps people deal with individual stress, oftentimes helping them to realize that many feelings are creating stress and not just one. Your therapist will work with you to help identify and single out the stressors that are most at fault. Too many of us take on things that stress us out because we have trouble saying no—as a result, we neglect ourselves and forget to enact important boundaries and place priority on our needs. The result is stress.
What Causes Stress?
There are a number of possible causes for stress in a person’s life, from personal to professional. Anything from repeated negative interactions at work to changes in personal habits to unfortunate family events can result in stress or cause a traumatic episode.
Situations that can cause stress include:
A change in the family
Alterations to personal habits
Alterations to relationship or career dynamics
Loss of sleep
Changes with a partner or spouse
The sudden injury, illness, or death of a friend or family member
Conflict at work or school
Major financial status change
Breakup, separation, or divorce
High or low personal achievement
Frustrating legal challenges
Changes in living conditions
Changes in societal or recreational activities
Conflicts in social, personal, or professional relationships
Change in responsibility
Why Is Stress Counselling The Answer For Me?
Managing stress can come in a variety of forms, such as attending relaxation sessions or following your therapist’s tips for stress reduction in your daily life. Relaxation is the opposite of stress and is best achieved by calming the mind and body via real techniques. There are many proven relaxation techniques that can reduce or prevent stress, such as art therapy, breathing exercises, massages, meditation, yoga, and more. Our Whole Life Counseling therapists also prioritize self-care, which can include things such as connecting with loved ones, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, managing personal expectations, holding open communication, making time for hobbies, and holding boundaries.
If you suffer from PTSD, we have good news: counselling is extremely effective in treating PTSD. With the help of a Whole Life counselling therapist, you will be able to work through your stress and trauma in an open and accepting atmosphere, completely free of guilt, judgment, or expectation. Stress therapy includes many different verbal methods, strategies, techniques, and programs designed to help you manage, prevent, and treat stress. The full benefit of stress therapy can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as your overall quality of life. By working with your therapist, you’ll be able to attend cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and more.