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stress management counselling mississauga

The term “stress” may be considered and felt by an individual when a situation or event is perceived by a person as being overwhelming, beyond their abilities to cope, and threatening to their well-being.

The results of stress can leave individuals feeling exhausted, fatigued, and depressed. Thus, health problems can arise, such as headaches, upset stomach, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Additionally, stress can affect the person in many other ways and areas, including their work, relationships, school performance, social relationships, etc.

Why Does Stress Happen?

Stress is a natural response to a threatening situation, or, at least, something we consider threatening, even if, in reality, it’s not. This is what is called a Fight or Flight Response – when our body goes into hyperarousal, a physiological reaction occurs in response to a perceived attack, harmful event, or threat to our survival.

External Sources of Stress

Physical environment: noises, confined spaces, temperature, comfort

Social: conflict, confrontation, sensitizing

Organizational: changes, transitions, mergers, downsizing, deadlines, regulations, enforcement’s, rules, strict authority

Major life events: promotion, moving into a new home, new baby, death of a relative, wedding, divorce

Daily hassles: mindlessness, commuting, crowds, misplaced things, running errands


Internal Sources of Stress

Negative self-talk: criticalness towards self, over-analyzing, negativity, pessimistic thinking/attitude

Lifestyle: lack of sleep, overloaded schedule, caffeine, unhealthy diet, alcohol, drugs

Personality traits: perfectionism, workaholic, pleaser, difficulty setting healthy boundaries

Cognitive: all or nothing thinking, mind reading, unrealistic expectations, taking things personally, exaggerating, rigid thinking


How to Decrease Stress

  • Introduce healthy lifestyle habits (day-by-day)
  • Decrease (or eliminate) caffeine (coffee, tea, pop, chocolate)
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Decrease the consumption of junk food
  • Engage in social activities, as well as leisure activities
  • Practice relaxation, meditation, yoga
  • Enhance money and time management skills
  • Learn to be assertive
  • Increase coping skills
  • Practice effective problem-solving skills
  • Change your thinking
  • Keep healthy expectations (realistic)
  • Enjoy a sense of humor!
  • Have a support system around you
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