An ‘optimal’ level of stress, should motivate but not overwhelm us.
All of us will experience stress in our lives, it is important we understand what causes stress and how to manage. There is no one-size-fits-all solution but there are foundational mental and behavioural actions we can engage in to alleviate and prevent serious illness and the impact of stress.
What leads to stress
Stress occurs when an imbalance exists between environmental demands and an individual’s capacity to meet those demands. Some stress can produce positive results (e.g. competitiveness) and some stress can produce negative results (e.g. worrying or work overload). The aim is to reach our ‘optimal’ level of stress, which will motivate us, but not overwhelm us. Our bodies will let us know when we are feeling stressed, sometimes long before we are consciously aware of the reason for this. Importantly, people around us will often notice our reactions to stress before we do.
When stress should be addressed
If you find you are having difficulty sleeping, noticing changes in eating patterns, high levels of frustration and irritability, difficulty relaxing, feelings of being overwhelmed, and not coping with the day-to-demands of life, make an appointment. Don’t wait until stress has manifested in a way that affects your work, family, relationships, or health.
To set the stage we spent our three day yearly retreat together in sharing, reflection and appreciation. At each of our retreats we start with reflection on our values- are they still relevant, are they a part of our clients journey and do we refer to them enough? Are there values we need to spend more time bringing into the company?
I spend much of my time at work speaking with clients about their experiences of trauma. These are often deeply personal conversations which involve vulnerability and working through what can be confronting core beliefs and experiences.
Often as a therapist, your work life and personal life collide with similar themes. For me, the spotlight recently shone on all things parenting and baby related.