What is Stress?

Stress is a feeling you have when you face a situation you think you cannot manage. You can feel anxious, irritable, forgetful, sleepless and unable to cope. There are many different ways to deal with stress, once you understand the causes. A regular daily routine that includes a nutritious diet, exercise and regular sleep also help.

Stress is a process, not a diagnosis. We experience stress when there is an imbalance between the demands being made on us and our resources to cope with those demands. The level and extent of stress a person may feel depends a great deal on their attitude to a particular situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be a mere hiccup in another person’s life.

You may feel under pressure to do something and fear you may fail. The more important the outcome, the more stressed you feel. You can feel stressed by external situations (too much work, children misbehaving) and by internal triggers (the way you think about external situations).

Stress is not always a bad thing. People can thrive on stress and even need it to get things done. When the term ‘stress’ is used in a clinical sense, it refers to a situation that causes discomfort and distress for a person and can lead to other mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Stress may also contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease. When stress turns into a serious illness, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to serious depression.

What is Anxiety?

Untreated stress can turn into a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.

Almost everyone experiences some anxiety. This is normal. However, an anxiety disorder is different from everyday anxiety – it is more severe, can persist and may interfere with a person’s daily life.

Common anxiety disorders include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Specific phobias – such as fear of flying or of spiders
  • Agoraphobia – fear of public places or of being away from home
  • Social anxiety disorder – fear of the scrutiny and judgement of others
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – following a real and very distressing event such as a disaster, accident, war, torture, violent death or assault.

Other, less common, anxiety disorders include:

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Generalised anxiety disorder – the person is constantly worried, often about irrational things, and cannot be reassured.

Anxiety is a very treatable condition. Treatments need to be individually decided on and regularly reviewed to make sure they are effective and to minimise side effects of medications.

Some of the Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress Include:

Cognitive Symptoms

Emotional Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Cause of Anxiety and Stress

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. 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 or forces you to adjust can be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion.

What causes stress depends, at least in part, on your perception of it. Something that’s stressful to you may not faze someone else; they may even enjoy it. For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.

Common external causes of stress

  • Major life changes
  • Work
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Children and family

Common internal causes of stress

Not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:

  • Inability to accept uncertainty
  • Pessimism
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Perfectionism
  • Lack of assertiveness

How Can Simply Natural Therapies Help?

Simply Natural Therapies has a range of practitioners available to help you with your particular issue and journey. Depending on what therapy feels right to you, will depend on who you see.

We recommend Hypnotherapy Counselling for stress and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy can make powerful changes to your perceptions of stressors.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

This will be determined by the severity of your stress and anxiety and may be determined between 1 or more therapists. Your therapist will discuss your treatment plan with you so that you achieve optimum results. It may also be suggested that you make some lifestyle changes to support your treatments.

What Is Involved In The Sessions?

Please visit our Hypnotherapy page for more information.

How Much Does It Cost?

Hypnotherapy Consultation – $160 /60 Minutes

*Please note, sessions with Alison Burton are $250/60 Minutes