Stress is something we all encounter. A little stress is good for the body and alerts the mind. Stress is an individual’s response to external problems such as impossibly high expectations from employers and families, constant life interruptions that affect our ability to carry out the usual routines of daily life or demands such as loans and mortgages.

However, there may get to a point where stress is having an overwhelmingly negative impact on an individuals life; symptoms being physical, psychological, and behavioural. It may be as acute as a state of ‘daze’ followed by further withdrawal or agitation, overactivity and signs of panic. If stress symptoms such as these are beginning to affect your life, it is time to seek treatment.

Signs and symptoms of stress

Stress symptoms can be broken down into psychological, physical and behavioural symptoms.

Psychological symptoms of stress

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Constantly feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and out of control
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling lonely and trapped
  • Tearfulness and more emotional than usual
  • Feeling irritable and angry, taking frustrations out on loved ones

Physical symptoms of stress

  • Insomnia or inadequate, unrestful sleep
  • Loss of appetite, dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Muscular tension
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Racing heart, trembling, shakes
  • Profusely sweating
  • Diarrhoea and other digestive issues

Behavioural symptoms of stress

  • Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
  • Losing enjoyment in things you previously enjoyed
  • Relationship issues
  • A decline in work performance
  • Turning to substances such as alcohol or drugs as a way to ‘forget’ or self medicate

What are the long-term effects of stress?

  • High blood pressure, heart disease and other potentially fatal conditions
  • An addiction to substances used to self-medicate
  • Eating disorders or obesity
  • Breakdown of relationships
  • Sexual dysfunction

Treatment for stress at Nightingale Hospital

Nightingale Hospital London has a number of consultant psychiatrists and therapists that can help you through your stress. It is vital you find a stress specialist that you can trust and work with on your recovery. 

We have the expertise to approach the support and treatment we offer you to overcome your stress in a personal and flexible way to benefit you the most in your recovery. Our approach to treating stress combines individualised treatment programmes with treatments based on current clinical evidence.

Treatment for stress at Nightingale London can be as an outpatient, day patient or inpatient.

There are two types of treatment available for stress: talking therapies and medication

  • Psychotherapy, counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you understand your stressors and help you learn more positive emotional and behavioural responses to stressful situations and feelings.
  • Medication can also be effective if your stress is severe or goes on. It may help you to cope better so that you can start to enjoy life and deal with problems effectively again.

A unique combination of therapies is recommended offering you the chance to tackle your stress efficiently and permanently.

Self-help remedies for stress

There are a number of simple stress-relieving activities that we can all engage in when we start to feel overwhelmed. 

  • Exercise: Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to relieve stress. Exercise will lower your stress hormones, promote good sleep and boost confidence.
  • Reduce your caffeine or alcohol intake: Caffeine is a stimulant, which can add to feelings of anxiety.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness helps anchor us to the ‘present’, and can reduce anxiety and promote overall wellbeing.
  • Learn to say ‘no’: You may be stressed because you are taking on too many responsibilities or task. If you are feeling stressed, it might help to say ‘no’ to certain things so you can focus on yourself.
  • Spend time with family or loved ones: This can act as a powerful distraction and promote joy and feelings of safety. 
  • Use essential oils or candles: These can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Useful resources for stress

“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”