But too much stress is not a good thing and it leads to overload. It can affect your work, relationships, school and sleep. It causes physical ill-health such as headaches, stomach ache and back pain. And it can lead to poor mental health – depression, anxiety and low self-esteem and self-confidence.
Managing stress is all about taking back some control of what is going on for you:
Step 1 – Identify the cause of your stress
Sometimes it isn’t easy to know what is causing your stress. So have a think about what has changed for you….
- Maybe your close relationship is going through a rocky period?
- Is there too much pressure at work?
- Is your child having problems at school?
- Perhaps you’ve experienced a recent bereavement?
- You’ve started a new job or role & your new colleagues/boss are difficult to work with?
Step 2 – Devise a plan to tackle the cause
Taking control and being assertive will alleviate those feelings of helplessness tied up in your stress.
- Open up communication with your partner. Seek help as an individual or a couple. Relationships Scotland offers counselling for couples, the Counselling Directory lists approved therapists across the UK.
- Talk to your manager about your workload and the effect it is having on you. Present her/him with a strategy to help manage the problem.
- Seek out some help for your child by visiting the GP for a referral to CAMHS, speaking to their pastoral care teacher, or finding a specialist private counsellor.
- Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling and ask for their support. If things get increasingly difficult, seek extra professional help via your GP or private therapist.
Step 3 – Learn to say no
- When you have too much to do, then something has to give.
- Instead of it being you, rationalise what you are doing and give up something that is a demand on you rather than a pleasure.
- Say no when someone asks you for a favour or additional responsibility. Be firm but polite, and people will accept your new boundaries. It’s a very empowering feeling.
If you need additional support, one-to-one counselling will help you devise strategies to manage stress and overcome the causes of your stress.
Westend Counselling provides confidential Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for teenagers and adults, on a range of problems including work-related stress, stress at school and coping with the demands of your everyday life.