Anxiety and Stress Counselling/Therapy in Bicester


Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger, whether it's real or imagined, the body's defences are activated in a rapid, automatic process known as the "fight-or-flight" reaction, or the stress response.

The stress response is the body's way of protecting you. When working properly it helps you stay focused energetic and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life, for example giving you extra strength to defend yourself or providing speed when you need to slam on the brakes in order to avoid an accident.

The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you are participating in a quiz or game, it also drives you to study for an exam when you would rather be watching TV.

However, beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

Many health problems are caused or exacerbated by stress, including:

  • Pain of any kind 
  • Heart disease 
  • Digestive problems 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Depression 
  • Obesity 
  • Auto immune diseases
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion.

What causes stress depends, at least in part on your perception of it. Something that is stressful to you may not affect someone else, they may even enjoy it.

For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.

Common external causes of stress

Not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:

  • Major life changes 
  • Work 
  • Relationship difficulties 
  • Financial problems 
  • Being too busy
  • Children and family

Common internal causes of stress

Not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:

  • Inability to accept uncertainty 
  • Pessimism 
  • Negative self-talk 
  • Unrealistic expectations 
  • Perfectionism
  • Lack of assertiveness

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