For almost thirty years April has been recognised as the month for raising awareness about stress and how too much can be detrimental to our well-being. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Too much stress can contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, sleep issues (like insomnia), digestive problems and issues with the immune system.
When we are stressed, our body thinks it is under attack and often releases hormones, such as adrenaline. This helps us focus our attention and respond quickly to the situation. We tend to feel this release in our bodies with a pounding heart, faster breathing and a boost of energy.
People react in different ways to stress, the most common are known as Fight, Flight or Freeze. With ‘Fight’, we react by becoming agitated and aggressive towards others. With ‘Flight’ we tend to avoid the situation, sometimes by actually running away. With ‘Freeze’, people appear to do nothing, they are ‘frozen’ with fear and will have a low heart rate, shallow breathing, even to the point of holding their breath.
All of these reactions can cause further stresses:
Unfortunately, for many families living with prolonged and heightened levels of stress, relationships can really suffer and may well result in relationship breakdown.
Our counselling service offers families an opportunity to work through stressful events and support family relationships.
We offer free, easy to access counselling and play therapy to low- income families experiencing mental health issues in Blacon and Lache.