The Effects of Chronic Stress and Finding Help in Plymouth

Every individual experiences stress as a natural response to daily life events, but sometimes this stress can escalate into a near-constant state that may seem impossible to escape. Whether you’re a busy mother trying to make ends meet, a stressed student struggling to keep up with deadlines, or an overworked businessperson feeling overwhelmed by the corporate lifestyle, it may seem that remaining in a constant state of stress is a normal and unavoidable part of your life. However, here at Horizon Plymouth, we urge you to remain alert to the signs of chronic stress and seek help, as prolonged stress can result in serious health and wellness concerns.

What is chronic stress?

Stress occurs in the body when a perceived stimulus triggers the hypothalamus to release stress hormones in order to trigger the natural “fight or flight” response in your body. Your heart will start to race, you might start breathing more rapidly, and your muscles remain tensed for quick reactions. This response is entirely normal, and is designed as a protective reaction to help you react quickly in an emergency. However, when your stress response is constantly triggered for a prolonged period of time, you can begin to experience negative health effects. Indications that you might be suffering from chronic stress include irritability, anxiety, depression, and headaches.

How can it affect you?

The strain on your central nervous system resulting from a constant state of stress takes its toll on virtually all of your body systems. Those suffering from chronic stress are at a higher risk for developing eating disorders, drug or alcohol addictions, and depression. Physical symptoms can include muscle pain, headaches, and general body aches, while the strain placed on your body weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to illness and disease. Elevated stress levels also contribute to the development of health concerns such as heart attacks, breathing problems, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and erectile dysfunction. Around 77% of people experience stress that is severe enough to impact their health in some way.

How can Horizon Plymouth help with chronic stress?

It is critical that you receive help in dealing with chronic stress in order to avoid harmful effects to your health, and the expert counsellors at Horizon Plymouth are uniquely qualified to address these matters. The stress response itself is innate and uncontrollable, but working with a counsellor or therapist at Horizon Plymouth can help you identify some of the major stressors in your life and work together to help find a solution that will allow you to reduce the load of stressors on your body.

CBT, or cognitive behavioural therapy, is an especially productive method for stress management in Plymouth. Our therapists can help you address the areas in your life that may be causing you stress, and then work with you to reframe that reaction in a more positive light, effectively altering the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviours that result when confronted with a situation that would have caused an adverse reaction before.

Other approaches offered at Horizon Plymouth include one-on-one counselling sessions and therapies that are targeted towards allowing you to gain more control over your life. Whether you feel out of control or not, chronic stress is an incredibly common root cause of ailments, and engaging in therapy sessions is one of the most effective ways to help reframe and establish healthier patterns in your life. Managing the stress response can provide immeasurable physical, emotional, and cognitive relief that can protect both your physical and mental health and allow you to focus on living your healthiest life once again. Don’t let chronic stress control your life any longer—reach out to one of the expert counsellors at Horizon Plymouth and start getting help today!

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