There is no great need to define or explain stress because we all experience it nearly every day. It is an unavoidable fact of life. In fact, we need stress to complete our tasks and therefore often term it as positive stress. When a batsman walks out to the crease, he will naturally have stress but his success depends on how he manages it during his stay in the middle.
At some level, we all intuitively understand what makes one stressor more serious or crippling than another. Stressor is nothing but the thing or situation that triggers stress. Why is misplacing our keys so much less stressful than being in an unhappy marriage or being fired from a job? The key factors involve:
- The severity of the stressor
- How long it lasts
- Its timing
- How closely it affects our lives
- How expected it is
- How controllable it is
Stressors that involve the more important aspects of a person’s life such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss, a serious illness, or negative social exchanges tend to be highly stressful for most people. Furthermore, the longer a stressor operates such as might be the case with abuse and emotional neglect, or with living in poverty, the more severe its effects. Encountering a number of stressors at the same time also makes a difference. If a man loses his job and learns that his wife is seriously ill at the same time, the resulting stress will be more severe than if these events had occurred separately over an extended period.
Stress can take a toll in the immune system. Because the brain influences the immune system, psychological factors are of great importance to our health and well-being. How you view problems and cope with challenges, and even your temperament, may directly affect your underlying physical health.
The term stress tolerance refers to a person’s ability to withstand stress without becoming seriously impaired. Stressful experiences may also create a self-perpetuating cycle by changing how we think about, or appraise the things that happened to us.
Everyone faces a unique pattern of demands to which he or she must adjust. This is because people perceive and interpret similar situations differently and also because, objectively no two people are faced with exactly the same pattern of stressors. Some individuals are likely to develop more long-term problems under stress than others.
Characteristics that have been identified as improving a person’s ability to handle life stress include higher levels of optimism, greater psychological control or increased self-esteem and better social support.
Signs and symptoms of stress
- Muscle tension
- Rapid heart beat
- Problems sleeping
- Shallow breathing
- Sexual problems
- High blood pressure
- Feeling sick or dizzy
- Chest pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Overestimating the scale of perceived problems
- Poor judgment
- Racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Underestimating our ability to manage problems
- Uninterested in life
- Difficulty eating well
- Biting your nails
- Snapping at people
- Being tearful
- Smoking or drinking than usual
CAN TREATMENT HELP?
The effectiveness of psychotherapies on reducing anxiety, stress and phobia is well established. In particular, cognitive behaviour therapy and clinical hypnotherapy have shown the most encouraging results.
The treatment will depend upon some factors including the level of stress you are experiencing. For moderate stress and more severe stress it may be recommended that you need cognitive behaviour therapy and solution focussed brief therapy and stress management programme.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS OUR TREATMENT?
Our panel has highly trained and qualified mental health professionals with competence as either cognitive behaviour therapists, clinical hypnotherapists, clinical and counselling psychologists across Kerala mainly in Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut and Thrissur. They have the necessary skills, competence and experience to help people overcome difficulties after determining the type of disorder and the right approach for that condition.