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Stress Management

Stress today has become a part of our lives. We like it or we don’t, it exists right there in all our lives. Tensions due to sudden change in environment, pressure of personal and professional life, academics, expectations, marriage, divorce, death, are just to name a few. Increased stress levels create hormonal imbalance and in turn associated diseases, which, have no solution but popping of everyday pills. No wonder lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments, depression (at times also leading to suicide) are on the rise. Some symptoms that show stress in a person are:

• Fatigue and headaches

• Gastrointestinal problems

• Hypertension (high blood pressure)

• Heart problems, such as palpitations

• Inability to focus/lack of concentration

• Sleep disturbances - too much or too less

• Sweating palms/shaking hands

• Anxiety

• Sexual problems.

• Behavioural changes like irritability, eating disorders, addictions, etc.

               The good news however is that before we reach a level of such effects on our body, we can completely handle our mind and body to save the pain. Better understanding of our strengths and limitations, working on our thought patterns, relaxation excercises, will help us to be well armed for handling all this and much more like a pro!!

 
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Depression

“Depression is a common mental disorder affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” says the website for World Health Organisation. This state not only impairs the daily life of the people affected, but also of the people related. Different forms of brain imaging show that the following areas of the brain get affected by depression:

  • Amygdala: The seat of anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal, shows higher levels of activity during depression, demonstrating the same in personal interactions as well.

  • Thalamus: Instances where depressed people show abnormal behavior, speech, random thoughts, can be attributed to the affected thalamus that receives and relays most sensory information like speech, behavioral reactions, movement, thinking, and learning.

  • Hippocampus: Plays a pivotal role in maintaining long term memory. Stress and depression impair the growth of nerve cells in this area of the brain.

Besides these specific areas, imbalance in neurotransmitters like Acetylcholine (for memory), Serotonin (linked with sleep, appetite, mood, pain and suicide), Norepinephrine (blood flow, anxiety, motivation and reward), Dopamine (for movement, motivation, and a person’s sense of reality), Gama-aminobutyric acid (inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety), also contributes to the ailment.

 

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Lack of energy and interest in most things

  • Anger in plenty or unusually quiet

  • Guilt, restlessness, worthlessness, helplessness

  • Unexplained aches and gastrointestinal disturbances

  • Too much or too less of sleep

  • Poor memory, difficulty in taking decisions and focusing

  • Suicidal thoughts

 
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Relationship Counseling

Relationships, be it simple love affairs, live-in, or husband-wife, need understanding and constant efforts to run well. Gone are the days when only love was enough for a relationship to run well. Today, besides love, we require to do a lot of work on them. Distractions as well as insecurities are many. While we are all capable of handling our relationships well, there are times when things just get out of hands. During such times, a person who is neutral, qualified and has a deeper understanding of such issues may be able to help resolve the problem and get things back of track.  

 

Some reasons to look for couple counselling:

  • Poor or lack of communication.

  • Anger or frustration between partners.

  • Trust issues.

  • Differences in parenting styles.

  • Suffocating environment at home.

  • Preparation for marriage (Pre marital counselling).

 
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Anxiety

A little anxiety has always been a part of human existence. Times for hunting, war, or any other danger would set off alarms in the body, causing a rush of adrenaline and triggering what we call fight or flight response. These alarms became noticeable in the form of a raised heartbeat, sweating, and increased sensitivity to surroundings.

Modern day dangers however revolve around work, money, family, health, stress and other crucial issues. Here, ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction exactly may not be triggered, but since these are the areas essential for survival, the noticeable alarm symptoms do exist. Such feelings, to a certain extent are normal. Problem arises when these symptoms cross a certain threshold and start hampering the normal functioning of a person. The duration and severity of these symptoms becomes longer and may also be accompanied by increased blood pressure and nausea.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Muscle Tension

  • Racing Heart

  • Grinding teeth

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Restlessness and irritability

  • Difficulty in controlling worry or fear

 
 
 
 
Image by Alexandra Gorn

Sleep Counseling
 

One way, generally considered the best for insomnia and other sleep related issues is change of lifestyle and becoming conscious of your sleep habits. This does not have any side effects, and is a long-term solution. On the contrary, working on the way of living is much more beneficial as it improves the over-all quality of life. Working with a counsellor, aids in bringing about these changes because there is someone to methodically guide, monitor, and give direct you towards sleeping peacefully.

Image by Charles Deluvio

Individual Therapy

A little change inside CAN change your world outside. People who realize this, are the ones who can opt for individual therapy. If your relationships are not working and you are finding reasons in all other people and situations, if you are angry for most of the time in the day, if you feel things are going out of hands, you have gone through unwanted events in life, you are scared.. maybe some individual sessions with a therapist can help.