Stress and anxiety
It is possible to live your life without being so overwhelmed by stress. Not only does stress interfere with your ability to enjoy life but it also causes your body to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and these hormones impact immune functioning, blood pressure, and overall physical and mental well-being.
Our psychologists help many people reduce feelings of stress and build resilience to future challenges. Requests for assistance with stress and anxiety are the most frequent calls for help we receive. Some of the stressors people seek help for are:
- juggling home, work and pleasure and trying to find a balance in life
- loss of a job or dealing with an aggressive boss
- recent separation or divorce
- illness or chronic pain or family member’s illness
- difficult relationships
- constant “to do” lists
- taking care of children
- taking care of children with developmental or behavioural challenges
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the most effective therapy for anxiety.
Mindfulness meditation changes the way you relate to anxiety and stress and you learn to respond rather than react.
Our psychologists will also suggest steps you can take to reduce your stress including maintaining good sleep hygiene, using relaxation exercises, and incorporating pleasant events, novel activities, support, connection and physical exercise into your life.
Here are some specific types of anxiety that you may like assistance with:
Worrying & Generalized Anxiety
This is exhausting. You may be worrying excessively about everyday things such as finances, your future, your health, your appearance, being late, making mistakes or your family’s safety and health. All of these “what if’s?” may affect your ability to concentrate, reduce your energy, and make you feel restless, tired and tense.
This impacts your enjoyment of social situations or gets in the way of being able to do fun activities or even do your job well. You may experience a fear of embarrassing yourself or excessively worry about what others think. You may become quite nervous in certain situations such as presentations, being with colleagues and friends, or when meeting new people.
This takes a lot of mental or physical energy. You may be having recurrent intrusive thoughts and/or behaviours such as keeping things in order, keeping things clean, washing your hands, checking locks, checking illness symptoms on the internet, counting footsteps, or doing things in certain numbers such as “2’s” or “3’s”.
These are terrifying. You may feel a sudden rush of intense fear that you are going to faint, die, have a heart attack, lose control and/or go crazy. Associated physical symptoms can be racing heart, chest pain, dizziness, tingles, numbness, or feeling floaty,
These fears get in the way of doing or enjoying many activities.. You may have a fear of flying, driving, dogs, insects, needles or something else. You endure these situations with intense distress or you avoid them.
Trauma and PTSD
These severe situations can have long-lasting effects on your life. If you have experienced or witnessed a severe life event that replays in your mind a significant portion of time, or you have nightmares, or flashbacks, you may have PTSD. You likely avoid situations that significantly increase your anxiety or you endure them with great distress. You may also be jumpy, tense and hypervigilant.