Life 360 Counselling - counselling and therapy for stress…

stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour…

It is estimated that 70 - 85% of visits to the doctor are stress or anxiety related. Stress affects so many areas of our lives it's hard to tell where it all begins or ends.

Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. Not only can it feel overwhelming, stress can lead to serious mental and physical health problems and it can also take a toll on your relationships at home, work and school.

The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it and it starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don't notice how much it's affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.

More often than not, it will be your partner, friend or coworker who will be the first to notice and comment on your stress.

It's important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they're overwhelmed by stress (fight - flight - freeze):

    • Foot on the gas – An angry, agitated, or “fight” stress response. You're heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.

    • Foot on the brake – A withdrawn, depressed, or “flight” stress response. You shut down, pull away, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.

    • Foot on both – A “freeze” stress response. You become frozen under pressure and can't do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you're extremely agitated.

It's not surprising that our attempts to deal with our increasingly busy life styles leave us stressed and frazzled. At Life 360, we can help you restore balance and give you the support you need to flourish.

How do I know if I’m over-stressed?

Changes in my BODY
My muscles feel tense
My breathing and heart rate feel quicker
I’m having headaches or stomach aches
I notice changes in my sleep or appetite
I take things to help me sleep - pills, alcohol, etc.
I’ve had diarrhea or stomach upset
I constantly feel tired

Changes in my ACTIONS
I’m using alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs to help me cope
I find myself withdrawing from others
I’m drinking more coffee or energy drinks
I lose patience with people or become easily frustrated
I’ve been avoiding people or situations that are stressful
I keep fidgeting
I call in sick to work or avoid going to school more often

Changes in my EMOTIONS
My emotions are different than they used to be
I feel worried and confused
I’m more angry or irritable
I feel like I can’t cope
I cry easily or for no reason
I feel less motivated
I’m less interested in sex

Changes in my THINKING
I’m having trouble concentrating, remembering and making decisions
My thoughts are racing
I’ve lost my self-confidence
I seem to be focusing on the negative more and more
I have a negative attitude towards myself, my life or the future

OTHERS are noticing changes in me
Others tell me I’m different
Others tell me I seem stressed or they tell me to relax
Others comment on my negative mood
Others tell me they are worried about me
Others tell me I need to talk to someone
Others ask me if everything is ok

What Can I do
About Stress?

Take Action. Taking action is the first step. Ignoring the effects of stress can lead to other mental health problems.

Identify the problem.

Solve problems as they come up. Sometimes solving a problem means doing the best you can—even if it isn’t perfect—or asking for help.

Talk about your problems. Talk to loved ones or book an appointment with Life 360.

Simplify your life. Stress can come up when there are too many things going on.

Learn helpful thinking strategies.

Learn about stress management.

Work on your inner calm. Practices like prayer, meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing exercises or yoga can help.

Get active. Physical activity can be a great way to reduce stress.

Do something you enjoy.

Download the PDF brochure
‘Coping With Stress’

A joint effort from the Heart and Stroke Foundation & the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Of course, stress can bring many other symptoms and things other than stress can cause some of the symptoms listed. As well, having some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re over-stressed. But if you are experiencing several of these symptoms and you feel like you’re under stress, contact Life 360 to arrange to take a stress questionnaire and start on the road to reducing or better managing the stress in your life. If stress is a concern, help is nearby. Visit our contact page and make an appointment today.

Headshot of Larry G. Pardy

Life 360 Counselling is the practice of Larry G. Pardy CD RSW - Registered Clinical Social Worker, Marriage Counsellor and Mental Health Therapist. Member of Focus on The Family Christian Counsellor Referral Network