When to Resort to Counselling for Stress & Anxiety?

Almost everyone experiences stress from time to time. Usually, people respond to negative, difficult or downright bad life events with negative emotions such as sadness/ anger. The degree of distress you feel depends partly on the severity of the bad event. But the key word here is “partly”. Often the meaning you attach to given events can take a bad situation and make it worse. Feelings of sadness, rage, guilt, anxiety are painful and can lead to further difficulties in life. On the other hand, anxiety is a worry, nervousness or unease about future events and uncertainties. We all have been wracked with anxiety at some point or the other in our life and it is a natural response to an anticipated stressor.

While a small amount of stress can motivate us (Eustress) too much or prolonged stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health. It reduces our ability to deal with the challenges in life in a healthy manner. If you recurrently find yourself feeling fatigued and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance. You can protect yourself—and improve how you think and feel—by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

 Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety: 

 

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate and focus

  • Poor judgment and indecisive

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying

  • Finding the negative in every situation

Emotional symptoms:

  • Depression or general sadness

  • Anxiety and agitation

  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Loneliness and isolation

Physical symptoms:

  • Aches and pains

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate

  • Cramps or muscle spasms

  • Fainting, Nausea, dizziness

  • Headache

  • Heart disease

  • Lower immunity against diseases

  • Muscular Aches

  • Nervous twitches

  • Erectile dysfunction and loss of sexual desires

 

Behavioural symptoms:

  • Increased/decreased or disturbed sleep

  • Increased/ decreased appetite

  • Isolating yourself

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

  • Developed Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing, shaking legs)

 

Causes of Stress and Anxiety

Any kind of situation can cause stress and the causes will depend on the individual - what may cause stress for one person may not be stressful for another. Having said this, most stressful situations are associated with change or a lack of control. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful. Even if the change is a positive one, it can still be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion

However, not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can be manifested internally or is self-generated, when you worry excessively about something that may or may not happen, or have irrational, pessimistic thoughts about life.

Common negative stressors include:

  • Work stress

  • Getting married

  • Chronic illness/ your loved in ill

  • Grief and Bereavement

  • Interpersonal conflicts

  • Competition

  • Examination stress

  • Break Up

  • Unemployment

  • Being abused or neglected

 

Common positive stressors include:

  • Receiving a promotion or raise at work.

  • Starting a new job.

  • Marriage.

  • Buying a home.

  • Having a child.

  • Moving.

  • Taking a vacation, holiday seasons.

  • Retiring.

  • Taking educational classes or learning a new hobby.

 

How can counselling help in eliminating stress and anxiety?

When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. That’s because anxiety therapy—unlike anxiety medication—treats more than just the symptoms of the problem. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is widely used to deal with stress and anxiety disorders.

There is no quick fix for anxiety. Overcoming an anxiety disorder takes time and commitment. Therapy involves fronting your fears rather than avoiding them, so sometimes you’ll feel worse before you get better. The significant thing is to stick with treatment and follow your therapist’s advice. If you’re feeling discouraged with the pace of recovery, remember that therapy for anxiety is very effective in the long run. You’ll reap the benefits if you see it through.!

FAQ regarding Stress and Anxiety

  • What kind of Symptoms Stress and Anxiety involves?
    Cognitive Symptoms, Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms & Behavioural Symptoms

  • What are the causes of Stress and Anxiety?
    Stress and Anxiety can be caused by both External as well as Internal Factors.

  • How can Counselling help in eliminating Stress and Anxiety?
    Stress and anxiety therapy treat more than just the symptoms of the problem. It can help you find out the causes of your worries and fears.

  • What are some Positive Stressors?
    Promotion, Starting a new job, Marriage, Buying a home, Having a child, Retiring.

  • What are some Negative Stressors?
    Work stress, Getting married, Chronic illness, Grief & Bereavement, Interpersonal conflicts, Competition, Examination stress, Break Up, Unemployment, Being abused or neglected