Stress, Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Stress is a person’s response to a challenge and does not have to be negative. It can be enjoyable to face a challenge or to achieve a goal and the stress response helps us to give that little bit extra in order to reach our aims. However, after a while we need to return to a state of natural equilibrium in order to regain our strength.
If stress is a permanent way of living, there is not enough release from tension. Chronic stress is a state of prolonged tension from internal or external stressors, which can cause various physical symptoms – e.g., asthma, back pain, fatigue, headaches, stomach aches etc. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression.
The stressor may be something the person has a lot or little control over and the circumstances would determine the therapeutic focus. In the therapeutic process we will explore strategies to cope with or alter stressful situations.
As chronic stress is stored in the body a lot of clients benefit from paying closer attention to what is happening in their body and what needs arise as a result of paying closer attention to their sensations. This often helps to release the physical and emotional tension that is held so tightly.
The more attention we pay to our needs and the boundaries of our physical and emotional capacities, the clearer we notice what stops us from attending to these needs. For a while there may be an uncomfortable impasse where the client is more aware of their own need and still holds back from any action. The therapeutic process supports the client to resolve this in a satisfying and safe way. In my experience important life changes can result from paying closer attention to the choices we take and the cost of those choices on our health, relationships and quality of life.
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