How to Avoid Stress and “Burn Out” – Stress Counselling in Newcastle
In today’s fast-paced world, stress and “burn out” are a common phenomenon. One of the most important things to recognise about stress is that no one is immune to it. As human beings, we all experience some level of day-to-day stress and particularly during difficult times in our lives.
It is now widely recognised that stress is the root cause and trigger of many mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, anger, insomnia, and trauma to name a few, as well as a variety of physical health problems. It is often also instrumental in problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addictions (including drug and alcohol use, gambling, overeating, and other compulsive tendencies).
When we go through a prolonged period of stress, we might start to show signs of “burn out”, which can make us feel unmotivated, exhausted and unable to engage with the world.
What are Stress and “Burn Out”?
Stress is a feeling of pressure that puts strain on our nervous system. It can lead to feelings of being unable to cope and trigger the “fight, flight, or freeze” response in the body. Everyone deals with stress differently and what you consider stressful might not be the same for someone else.
Not all stress is bad however. The human body has evolved to respond to stress with increased vigilance, alertness and an energy boost (“arousal”) which can prevent or reduce the risk of getting hurt in the face of genuine threat.
Though our bodies can handle, and even thrive on, small doses of stress too much of it or a prolonged exposure to stress can cause problems with our mood, energy levels and overall physical health. This is what is referred to as “burn out”.
What Causes Stress and “Burn Out”?
Certain situations, such as receiving bad news, working too many hours, experiencing relationship problems and/or engaging in behaviours known to increase stress (such as overthinking, perfectionism, self-criticism and drinking too much alcohol or using drugs to cope) can all contribute to stress and physical burn out.
Whether you are working with a therapist or stress counsellor (such as with one of the Specialist Counsellors or Psychologists at our stress counselling services in Newcastle) or trying to deal with it by yourself, it can be helpful to consider your personal triggers that contribute to stress.
Some common triggers of stress that lead to burn out include:
- Excessive workload or increased working hours
- Problems with physical health or illness
- Financial and money worries
- Relationship problems
- Bereavement of friends, family or pets
- Change in family circumstances (such as family illness, becoming a carer, or becoming a new parent)
- Worry or overthinking
It is important to recognise that not everyone might have the same triggers. Some people also find it hard to notice when they are stressed and it might be that others first notice changes to your mood, emotional state, physical appearance, or behaviour.
In these instances it is worth taking their advice and looking at how you could manage stress better, or whether you need to take time out.
What are the Symptoms of Stress and Burn Out?
Stress and burn out can happen to anyone at any time and have a massive impact on our thoughts, feelings, behaviour and overall physical health. Understanding the signs and symptoms of stress and burn out is the first step to overcoming and managing it.
Symptoms may vary from person to person but some common signs of stress and burn out include:
- Tension, sweating and/or shaking
- Feelings of panic or anxiety
- Choking or difficulty breathing
- Pain in the back or chest
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reduced productivity
- A sense of being overwhelmed or losing control
- Change in appetite (increased eating or loss of appetite)
- Lack of motivation and withdrawal
- Increased consumption of alcohol, food, or increased drug use (including prescription medication)
- Worsening physical health problems (such as IBS, reflux, diabetes, heart problems, obesity)
- Other emotional problems (for example, depression, insomnia, anxiety, anger problems or trauma).
As stress and burn out can have an enormous impact on our relationships, productivity, enjoyment in life, and health, it is important to get the best help and support in order to cope and deal with the cause and the symptoms of the stress.
Stress Counselling in Newcastle
Stress and burn out can significantly affect our health, peace of mind, work performance and day to day life. They can also cause breakdown in relationships and family problems. Getting the necessary help before stress becomes overwhelming can avoid problems such as depression, anxiety, anger, insomnia, as well as other physical and mental health problems, including burn out.
Our Newcastle based service offer a range of talking therapies and specialist stress counselling services in Newcastle including counselling (for both children and adults), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), couples counselling, family therapy, and mindfulness based approaches to help you overcome stress and avoid burn out.
If you feel that stress or burn out might be a problem in your life, contact us today using the box below and ask about our specialist stress counselling services in Newcastle.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Lead Clinical Psychologist