Stress is a response we have towards challenging or difficult situations that come up in life. Stress can be either positive or negative depending on how it is affecting us and how we manage stress. Stress is our response to a stressor. Think of the stressor of an upcoming exam. There is stress or pressure to do well, to study and make sure you cover the topic well enough and do quizzes to test yourself. At times can be positive as it motivates like studying for an exam or preparing for an exam. Stress can be negative in that it may stop us from preparing or dealing with the stressors. Many people may have heard of ‘procrastinating’ where we put off a task by doing anything else. Here are we talking about one stress but we can also have multiple stressors occurring at a time which can seem very overwhelming.
So what is a stressor? A stressor is something that causes tension or strain in a person
And what is stress? Stress is our response to a stressor.
Stress is a normal response that is short term and based on stressor that is present. Anxiety, on the other hand, may not have a specific stressor and sustains over a period of time. There is more about anxiety in our anxiety blogs (see below).
Stressors are not just task-based like an exam or job interview coming up. They can be based on issues in a relationship, a life event like a wedding or baby shower or difficulties with a load of things that you are carrying.
Stress relief ideas; It is important to check in on the number of stressors and stress in your life and understand what you are doing to cope and talk through what is happening.
Grab a pen and paper and write down the amount of stressors gathering in your head. How many are there? 0-5, 5-10 or more? In terms of the types of stressors will some go soon (a task being completed or a bill paid) or are there more ongoing stressors?
What things help you cope with this load of stressors? What coping strategies help you at the moment to slow yourself down? This might be breathing techniques or taking a break from a task or knocking out one or two stressors by completing a task.
Steps 1 and 2 are about managing stressors in a tangible way but sometimes it can be very overwhelming and you need a second person outside of the situation to help talk through possible strategies. Who do you talk to about your stress and what is going on in your head? Airing stressors can help and Safe Place Therapy is willing to help. Below are some blogs that may help you further.
Some stress counselling may be able to help slow you down and unpack some stressors so they are more manageable. Our mental health professionals are ready and willing to work with you. Please click on the locations tab above for further information click ‘book now’ to make time.