Victoria Counselling for Stress

About Stress

An Overview of Stress

Stress can be difficult to understand and we are not always aware that it is affecting us. Some life events like the birth of a child or the end of a relationship can cause feelings of stress but everyone is different in how they respond. That is because it our thoughts and the meaning we attach to the situation that determines whether or not the reaction will be a problem to us.

Sometimes stress or change can be a motivator for us, or we may develop a habit of responding to an event in a way that has a negative effect on our physical, mental and social well-being. If we tend to respond in a negative way, our health, happiness, and relationships happiness can suffer. Many people who experience excessive stress and anxiety have symptoms of poor health.

Do you have any of these more common physical symptoms?

  • Headaches
  • Symptoms that mimic old illnesses
  • Poor sleep
  • Nausea and stomach upset

Also, in an attempt to cope, some people drink too much alcohol, abuse drugs, blame others and may become physically violent. The good news is that through victoria counselling and learning new ways of thinking, we can better understand ourselves and our reactions to stress-provoking situations and we can learn to handle stress more effectively.

What is Stress?

Stress can be difficult to understand and we are not always aware that it is affecting us. We often think stress happens to us, through some external event, like a job interview or an argument with your partner. Although we can feel the stress in our bodies and in our behaviours, it is thoughts about the situations in which we find ourselves that are the most critical factor.

During any lived situation, we routinely, and involuntarily, evaluate the situation mentally. We decide (i) is this a difficult situation? (ii) how do I deal with it? and (iii) do I have the skills to deal with it? If our automatic assessment is that this is a difficult situation, and we do have the skills to manage it, then it does not create stress. However, if on the other hand we deem the situation challenging and consider that we do not have the adequate coping skills, then we consider the situation as "stressful" and stress is created. Because everyone sees situations differently and has different coping skills, no two people will respond exactly the same way to a given situation.

We may feel that situations are "stressful" because we don't feel fully prepared to deal with them.

Some situations in life are stress-provoking, but it is our thoughts about situations that determine whether they are a problem to us.

By understanding ourselves and our reactions to stress-provoking situations, we can learn to handle stress more effectively with stress management counselling.

FREE THERAPY CONSULTATION - Determine if my approach fits for you with Victoira Counselling.

What is your stress level?
The short quiz below can help you determine your stress level:

Do you frequently: Yes No


You are relatively stress-free and are managing your lifestyle accordingly. Your current manners of dealing and coping with life and it's daily functioning appearing to be working rather well. Beware not to deliberate avoid any of life's problems or skirt from any difficulties.

You have a reasonably good balance in your life and are feeling generally in control. There may be a few specific areas of your life that may be causing some unwelcomed stress. Attend to those areas accordingly and continue to use all your current coping mechanisms to maintain your life's balance.

You may be experiencing symptoms related to stress. These are beginning to negatively affect you, perhaps your relationships and possibly the quality of your life. It is time to take some measures before things get worse. Consider making some deliberate and concrete changes in order to reduce the level of stress in your life. A good starting point is to begin taking relaxation breaks over the course of the day.

You are maxed out! You can't keep going the way you have been. You must stop now and make some changes. Reconsider how you are living your life, make some changes to your diet, begin exercising, start doing relaxation exercises and slow down your pace. Consider consulting your doctor about your level of stress.

FREE THERAPY CONSULTATION - Determine if my approach fits for you with Victoria Counselling.