Stress is a normal physical response to real or imagined external threat. If we are suddenly finding ourselves in a state of extreme stress, we are experiencing a sudden and automatic response of the body, which we can briefly describe the fight-flight-or-freeze situation.
We need stress to some degree. We react to stress physiologically, releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which will help us to increase our level of concentration, dynamism and readiness to take the next challenge.
At some stage in our lives, we may notice, that the stress is no longer our ally. We often say then that stress is beyond us, and we cannot control it. We see that the reason for this, lies not in immediate or external threat, but in the experiencing a long-term sense of danger, which stems from the way in which the mind perceives our situation. There are various sources of this such as; problems at work, school, family problems, financial difficulties, illness.
Effect of long-term stress, also known as chronic stress, can have a noticeably negative impact on our lives. It causes general weakness of the body, trouble in concentrating, sleeping difficulty, difficulty in performing more complex tasks, impaired relations with other people.
Many of the clients opting for a meeting with a psychotherapist, do so because they conduct a very intensive and demanding lifestyle, which results in high levels of stress.
During a therapeutic process, the counsellor and the client try to identify the sources of stress and its symptoms and discuss ways to manage the stress effectively in the future.
The therapist helps the client in creating or restoring a balance in life so that the impact of stress has ceased to be harmful. By using one particular or several therapies and techniques, the client learns a new attitude towards the problem of stress in their life, and the counsellor assists the client in developing and implementing new behaviours toward stressful situations that may occur in the future.