Stress therapy

Counselling is an effective treatment for stress relief. It helps you recognise the symptoms of stress and learn how to manage your body’s response to stress. Counselling in combination with lifestyle changes can help you feel more in control and able to cope with stress.

Thought for the Week

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” —Herbert Bayard Swope

What is stress?

chelsea

Chelsea – Stock Photo by Jesse Therrien

It is normal to feel some stress some of the time. A small amount of stress can give an energy burst and make you more alert. However, larger amounts of stress can overload your body and be dangerous to your health. Stress may prevent your body and mind stop from functioning optimally. Stress therapy can help you to identify the warning signs of stress and manage stress when it occurs.

When people say they are stressed they may mean that:

  • they feel the symptoms of stress (heart beating fast, headache)
  • something stressful has happened in their life
  • things seem overwhelming and they can’t cope.

Prolonged repeated exposure to the stressor can lead to stress-related illnesses and mental health issues. There is new evidence that abnormal levels of stress can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and substance abuse 1.

It is advisable to see your GP if you have physical symptoms.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Stress has a variety of symptoms that vary in intensity and duration. Some are:

  • Physical – headaches, clenched fists or jaw, sweating, heart palpitations, indigestion, headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, fainting;
  • Psychological – loss of concentration, indecision, worry, impaired judgment, poor memory, persistent negative thoughts, and nightmares.

People often cope with these symptoms by drinking more alcohol, avoiding things, or escaping. Yet there are more helpful ways of managing stress.

What is stress therapy?

Stress therapy offers support through counselling. Learn to manage the symptoms and causes of stress in your life. Talking therapy, learning meditation and relaxation techniques, and learning new skills are part of the approach. Effective forms of treatment for managing stress are:

  • Analysing stressors and rehearsing ways to cope in the future
  • Learning new techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation
  • Practicing assertiveness, goal setting, time management to address feeling overwhelmed
  • do more physical exercise
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy – change the way you interpret stressful events and situations to change the way you feel and how you behave.

Counselling can help with stress by giving you an understanding of what happens in your body and mind when you feel stress. You will learn to monitor and slow down your body’s stress responses. Instead of jumping to negative thoughts about the stressful situation, you can learn to challenge these thoughts and realistically assess your ability to cope.

If the stress you feel causes you to suffer from physical symptoms of stress you are advised to see your GP for assessment.

For stress therapy, contact Linda Magson, Sydney counsellor specialising in effective treatment through talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation, relaxation and breathing exercises to reduce stress. Yoga and meditation classes are also run from the centre where Linda’s room is, the Life and Balance Centre in Glebe.

Please note: You may be entitled to a rebate for counselling through your health fund as Linda is a registered provider of counselling services.

Disclaimer: the information on these pages is not intended as advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. You need to consult your doctor for these things without delay.


1. MedicineNet.com