The Australian Psychological Society (APS) describes stress as a “feeling of being overloaded, wound up tight, tense and worried.” While stress may be necessary at times and can help us finish tasks, it can also be harmful and make us unable to get on with our lives. Major and chronic stress can also have an impact on our physical and emotional health.
Stress management is any technique that helps you get over unwanted or unneeded stress. Some can manage stress through meditation or positive thinking. Others need help from a psychologist and still others may need medication to manage their stress.
Ideally, self-management of stress should be the goal, but sometimes stress is too overwhelming for an individual to face alone. How can you know if it’s time to seek professional help? The APS identifies several types of stress:
- Acute stress may be intense, but may also be a reaction to a specific event. If the stress passes after the stressful situation is behind you (i.e. a deadline or exam), you probably don’t need professional help.
- Episodic acute stress is stress that comes periodically. It can come as a result of a series of stressful events, such as losing a job and the financial stresses that follow.
- Chronic stress is stress that never seems to go away. Life seems like a constant challenge and it appears that there will be no relief from it. Chronic stress can have harmful effects on your health, but unfortunately, this type of stress can seem “normal” and you may not seek professional help for it.
The APS recommends seeking professional help for stress management “if high levels of stress persist for a long time, or are interfering with you enjoying a healthy life”. They go on to say:
“A mental health professional, like a psychologist, can help you identify behaviours and situations that are contributing to high stress, and help you to make changes to the things that are within your control. Seeking help can be one way to manage your stress effectively.”
The goal is self-management. A good wellness psychologist can help you recognize what is causing you stress and help you take control of your emotions again. This may be all you need to get your life back on track again and return to wellness.
Inner West Psychology Services
Petrozzi Wellness Centre is a holistic Inner West psychology, chiropractic, integrative medicine and life coaching service. Winner of the 2015 Australian Small Business Champion Award in the Health Improvement Services, we are passionate about holistic health and well being. If you are looking for a holistic solution to a physical or emotional health issue, contact us and we can discuss methods of treatment for you.
Also to find out more about the Empowered Women program and retreats run by Suzi Petrozzi go to www.suzipetrozzi.com