Stress is a natural response of the body to perceived challenges or threats. It triggers a cascade of physiological and psychological changes aimed at helping you cope with demanding situations.

What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” response or the stress response.

Types of Stress

  1. Acute Stress: This is short-term stress that goes away quickly. It helps you manage dangerous situations. Acute stress can occur when you take a final exam, have an argument, or slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
  2. Chronic Stress: This is stress that lasts for a longer period of time. You may have chronic stress if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage, or trouble at work. Any type of stress that goes on for weeks or months is chronic stress.

Am I stressed?

You may be stressed if you are noticing any of the below symptoms:

Physiological Changes

When you encounter a stressful situation, your body reacts by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare your body to take action by:

  • Increasing your heart rate
  • Elevating your blood pressure
  • Boosting your energy supplies
  • Enhancing focus and alertness

Psychological Impact

Stress can also affect your mental state by:

  • Making you feel overwhelmed or anxious
  • Decreasing your ability to concentrate
  • Affecting your mood and emotional stability

Effects of Stress

While stress can help you handle short-term challenges, chronic stress can have serious implications for your health, including:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Depression and anxiety

Managing Stress

Effective stress management strategies include:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Adequate sleep
  • Healthy eating
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  • Seeking social support
  • Professional help if needed

Online Therapy for Stress

Understanding and managing stress is crucial for maintaining both physical and mental well-being.

Our qualified psychologists, therapists and counsellors here at Counselling Psychology Online provide bespoke therapy online for those experiencing stress related difficulties. To arrange an assessment session with one of our online psychologists or therapists, contact us here. Answers to the most frequently asked questions about our therapies, fees and online therapy can be found on our FAQ page.