The Counselling Centre

Stress

Stress is pressure created from either yourself or a situation. You experience stress when you feel that you do not have the social, biological, and/or psychological resources to handle the demands of the situation. All of us experience stress on a regular basis. Most of this stress is actually positive serving to motivate us. However, like most things in excess, too much stress is negative.

What Causes Stress?

  • Change. For example, dealing with a loss/end of a relationship, illness, financial difficulties, academic and work pressures.
  • When we are feeling challenged or threatened by an outside force.
  • We experience a loss of personal control.

Symptoms of stress

Physical

  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hypertension
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating palms/Shaking hands
  • Heart problems

Behavioural

  • Irritability
  • Disruptive eating patterns
  • Harsh treatment of others
  • Increased smoking or alcohol consumption
  • Isolation
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Difficulty in communication.

Ways to Cope with Stressful Situations

  1. Get to the Source.
    Ask yourself why you are feeling stressed out. Once the source is identified you can eliminate, avoid or change the stressor.
  2. Determine Priorities.
    By knowing what is of primary and secondary importance, you can order your activities and expectations in light of your energy on a given day.
  3. Plan Your Tasks.
    Don’t take on more than you can handle. Refusing tasks is less stressful than having a number of unfinished ones hanging over your head.
  4. Reward Yourself.
    Allow yourself a small reward for a job well done.
  5. Have a Support Base.
    Find someone with whom you can mutually share thoughts and feelings.
  6. Develop a Winner Attitude.
    Be positive about yourself and your choices. Positive thoughts are good for your mind and body. Negative thoughts increase stress.
  7. Have Realistic Expectations.
    Expecting too much of yourself or others can be disappointing if those expectations are not realized. Perfectionism creates stress when you feel the need to have everything perfect all the time.
  8. Be the One in Control.
    Break big jobs down into small manageable tasks. Reward yourself after completing each small task. Before you know it, the big job is done.
  9. Accept What Can’t Be Changed.
    Don’t fight the inevitable. When a final decision is made, you must pick the ditch you want to lie in.
  10. Take Care of Yourself.
    Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough rest. You cannot cope with stressors if you’re not well physically.

The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 902-420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.