Stress and crisis

All people experience stress, though it may vary in its intensity and length. Stress is a dynamic adaptive reaction of our bodies that occurs whenever it is required in a given situation (stressors). We call it adaptive as it is used to mobilize the body to an appropriate reaction. Such feeling is characterized by physical and mental imbalance and is usually experienced as something unpleasant. The symptoms of stress relate to several areas of human functioning: physiological (increased heart rate and breathing, muscle tension), emotional (fear, anxiety, anger) and cognitive (thoughts about running away, problems with focus and memory).
Having such an overwhelming body reaction makes one look for solutions to the situation. People do have some strategies for coping with stress, some of which are more and some less effective. The less functional ones include: psychoactive substances, overeating, seeking relief in shopping and using the Internet. Unless we use such strategies very often, it does not disturb our proper functioning. The problem begins when we start reaching for maladaptive strategies too often.
Acute stress, i.e. stress occurring after being exposed to a stressor, is an everyday phenomenon and allows you to build mental resilience. A number of negative consequences can arise when we experience chronic stress, including mood disorders, somatic problems, lowered immunity, problems with memory and decision making.
There are situations for which few of us are well prepared. Those include, for example, major life changes, such as divorce or death of a spouse, loss of job, accident. The consequences of such events follow us for a long time. When we experience such a crisis, it is worth using the help of a specialist.
“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” Epictetus
It is our own assessment of a given event that affects the intensity of stress, or whether we will experience it at all. There are two types of observations that are crucial to the above: our perception of the situation (if it’s difficult, dangerous, with no way out) and our ability to deal with it. Our thoughts and beliefs may in such circumstances serve either to our advantage or not.
In the course of receiving both psychological and psychotherapeutic assistance, we can acquire new, adaptive strategies for coping with stress. Changing our way of thinking about a given situation and our coping abilities will help us alleviate the symptoms of stress as well as act in a more functional way.

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