All of us have felt stressed at some point in our lives, but we’re not always clear about what the stress is. Mental health defines stress as, "the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable." Stress can feel overwhelming at times, but there are many different strategies to help you take control.
Stress is not a psychiatric diagnosis, but it is closely linked to mental health. It can be the cause of mental health problems and exacerbate existing ones. For instance, if you struggle with managing stress you might be more prone to developing anxiety, depression, or having panic attacks. Mental health problems can also cause stress. Coping with day-to-day symptoms and managing treatment can become an extra source of worry for some people.
Some stress can be a good thing; it can motivate us to focus on a task, or take action and solve a problem. In these situations, stress is manageable and can even be helpful. It’s when you feel overwhelmed or feel like you can’t fix the problem that stress becomes unhelpful. When stress is ignored and left unchecked, it can manifest and impact physical health. Some may experience headaches, difficulty sleeping, find it hard to concentrate, or experience muscle tension in the body. When we don’t take care of our mental health, it impacts our physical wellbeing, and in turn makes us more prone to getting sick.
Stress often comes from our reaction to a situation, and not the actual situation itself. A common experience where stress arises from, is when the expectations of a situation are greater than our resources to deal with that situation. For example, some people find interviews to be very difficult, when asked to speak about themselves and answer questions on the spot, while others love to share their accomplishments.
There is no right way to deal with stress, everyone is different and what works for you may not work for someone else. Here are some strategies to help with stress:
If you are struggling to manage stress, consider booking an appointment with one of our GOeVisit practitioners!
GOeBlogger is a health enthusiast and avid reader living and thriving in vibrant Vancouver. When she's not nerding out at her laptop, you can find her exploring the beautiful BC coastline with her dog.
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