Ah, stress! We need enough of it to get us up in the morning, but boy do we seem to have an excess of it in our society.
Common external sources of stress:
- family dynamics and intimate relationships
- workplace pressure
- pressures of combining work and family
- making enough money to get by
- other’s expectations of us
- unexpected life changes (loss of job, relationship etc)
Common internal sources of stress:
- expectations of ourselves (e.g. where I “should” be in life)
- expectations of our performance in our roles in life (e.g. as mother/father, employee, partner)
- inner struggles that are not conscious yet (e.g. internalised expectations of parents from childhood)
- existential questions (e.g. what’s my purpose here, what’s the bigger picture?)
Whatever the sources may be I take time to understand them. We would talk about what you’ve tried, what works, what doesn’t work, when things get better or worse, and other exploratory questions. We would clarify what achievable goals might be.
How to approach this arena would also depend on your preference. Are you oriented to a more practical, solution-oriented approach? Or are you wanting to explore what’s going on here under the surface and see what emerges? Indeed sometimes one leads to the other.
Since there are myriad causes for stress there is no one answer. Sometimes coping better involves:
- exploring any underlying factors or beliefs that contribute to your stress
- letting go of something and accepting aspects of your situation and/or prioritising
- learning to practice self-care and self-compassion
- understanding the physiological nature of stress and finding tools to manage it
- learning to relate differently with your inner critic
- taking care of yourself at a physical level, especially if the stress is chronic. This may involve seeking out a naturopath or other practioner to help.
Whatever way forward we find, I will provide a safe and compassionate place in which you can “land” and be heard.