Stress can be defined elegantly as, "pressure that the body and mind cannot cope with". Stress can be a serious, incapacitating and frightening illness that can affect our behaviour, our moods and our physical wellbeing.
Stress is primarily a 20/21 century condition/illness. We live in a fast, modern and complex society which produces its own unique pressures and stressors for each individual member. In addition isolation from old style support systems, like the extended family, is becoming commonplace and this can leave the unsupported, unhappy or overstreched amongst us vulnerable to epiosodes of stress.
Where once extended families, communities and religion offered each individual support, love and security we now have families separated by work commitments, housing needs and population movements; communities that have become more fragmented as the individuals that form them have become more insular, paranoid and mobile and we have traditional religions in decline. Many of the things that supported and sustained our grandparents, and even our parents, that gave them a sense of security, have either gone completely or are in decline.
The way that our society has evolved in the latter part of the 20th century has contributed, in part, to stress becoming a major illness. Of course other things cause and contribute to stress-related illness such as perfectionism, irrational beliefs, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties and life-changing events such as marriage, major illnesses or accidents, divorce, redundancy, childbirth, retirement and bereavement.
Violent or distressing images brought right into the heart of our homes by televison pictures, like explicit images of warfare, criminal activity or major accidents, and extensive coverage of natural disaters, like earthquakes or the Boxing Day tusmani, also add to our general stress levels giving the impression that our world is unsafe and threatening. That our lives are always at risk!
Whatever has caused your stress - do not dispair!
Most stress-related illness can be treated sucessfuly or at the very least explained and understood and made more bearable. Stress can be treated in a number of ways including health education, relaxation training, cognitive-behaviour therapy and counselling.
Stress can have a powerful affect on both our mental and physical health and if you believe that you have stress symptoms, don't worry, help is at hand! If you suspect that you are suffering from stress why not give me a call and make an appointment. We could work together to alleviate your symptoms and return you to good health and a life without health-damaging high levels of stress.