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Understanding Stress

Do you experience high levels of stress? Is it having a negative impact on your work and personal life? Help is available. Everyone experiences stress at different times. It is the body’s natural response to pressures and demands. These pressures can arise from feeling there are too few hours in the day to look after duties at work or with family and friends. There are many sources of such pressures or demands, for example, one’s personal or professional relationships, the demands of work or studying, life changes such as marriage, moving, or retirement, caring for others, and dealing with illness. Stress can even come from financial worries, social or family gatherings, including holidays.

Some stress is healthy, as when it keeps people alert or motivates us to be productive. However, too much stress can have serious negative effects, especially if it lasts for long periods of time. Illnesses from stress may include chronic fatigue, burnout, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and depression.

Recognize the signs of high levels of stress. Physical symptoms may include changes in appetite and/or weight change, muscle/body aches, indigestion, shortness of breath, fatigue or sleep difficulties, a pounding/racing heart, headaches, dizziness or weakened immune system. Emotional and cognitive symptoms may include restlessness, lack of motivation, inability to focus, problems making decisions, increased irritability and anger, changing moods, feeling of depression, sadness, or anxiety. Behavioural symptoms may include unhealthy eating, increased use of alcohol or drugs, social withdrawal, crying or wanting to cry, skipping work-outs, pacing, and nail biting and other nervous habits.

Recognizing how stress impacts your daily life is the first step. Early intervention is key and will reduce the long term effects of stress. If you believe you are experiencing high levels of stress, help is available. Power Psychology and Associates is a team of trained, certified, and experienced psychologists and counsellors. We can support you in finding solutions to reduce the stress in your life and manage stress in healthy ways. Contact us to learn more.

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