Children's Mental Health Week has just passed and I have written this blog in relation, as children are hugely receptive to the emotional and physical well-being of their parents.
Behavior and personality traits in adults are just extensions to the childhood experiences we obtained. The way we manage and express our stress responses as an adult, will often be acknowledged by our children, despite how much we may try to hide our situations and emotions away from them in order to protect. Many people may dismiss these related issues and any consequences stress may have on our offspring by thinking 'they are just kids.' In fact, it is these experiences within their early development that shape all aspects of our children within their future self.
By experiencing our parents reactions towards stress, 'learnt behaviors' are unconsciously formed within their early development and will add towards the key traits built, related to their responses to stress and all other areas.
For children, their bodies and minds are still growing and a well-tuned stress response system is especially important. Impaired behavioral and emotional development is linked to high levels of early stress being experienced. Stress usually arises if a child is putting themselves under too much pressure or if they they are not able to reach demands or expectations of their parents. Research has shown that the vulnerability to childhood stress can be traced back to infant behaviour and therefore: kids are just kids but kids, but kids who develop into adults via all the experiences they encountered..... as a kid!
How we, as adults, relate to stress.
Stress is classed as a 'pressure or tension exerted on a material object' or 'a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.' People often say 'don't stress!' Lets get real here. Stress is a normal fact of life! Seriously, more often than not, we all experience some level of stress on a daily basis: We are running late for the school run, work or an appointment..... stress!!! The kids are arguing.... stress!!! Our job is so challenging..... stress!!! The house is a mess..... stress!!!! Having recently opened up my own counselling practice, I have a jobs lists that only grows instead of decreases....... stress!!! There are so many things in our everyday lives that cause us to becomes stressed. It's life. It's human nature. It's a normal functioning process. However, it is how we manage it that is important!
Life can be stressful for all, albeit, some more than others. Within our childhood, we would have started to adapt many traits which greatly results in the outcome today, in adulthood, in how we are able to manage our stress levels. People will either have a high, moderate or low level of experience stress. While it is important to take steps to reduce and eliminate day-to-day stresses, no one can avoid ‘stress’ entirely. Therefore, to benefit our-self today and everyday forward, it is better to gain an understanding of how to stay calm through stressful situations, or even to prevent the extent of stress we will experience tomorrow and everyday forward and how to keep our brains and bodies from being subjected to the harmful effects of stress. If you're struggling with ways to cope on a daily basis, it might be causing serious harm to your health.
Not all stress is bad.
In fact, some stress heightens our senses, helping us to avoid accidents, power through unexpected deadlines, dealing with difficult situations by being able to keep a clear-mind. This is known as our "fight-or-flight" response. This is a natural process our brain responses trigger, in times of any duress. For instance; you question yourself about receiving counselling. In your fight response, you look for a counsellor and start the process of attending therapy. In your flight response, you will dismiss the idea and carry on as you are. Stress is only ever beneficial to us, if it is short lived and all functioning's return to their natural state shortly the situation your difficult situation has passed. You should find that any of your symptoms related to stress have gone. If you can still related to any areas related below, than it may be a case you are still experiencing stress related issues.
When stress becomes unhealthy?
Long term effects of stress can create various mental and physical implications. Stress causes our heart to beat faster, more forcefully and therefore, results in the need to pump more blood around our bodies,. This has a negative effect on our cardiovascular systems. Long term stress can result in increased heart rate, damaged blood vessels, high blood pressure, and increase in serum in our cholesterol levels. All of which, lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also increase the chances of us developing mental health issues, experiencing fertility difficulties, weakening our immune systems and various other problems, not to mention the implications it could possibly have on our mental and physical health and overall well-being.
Food for thought. Ask yourself now, as honestly as possible. 'If you are stressed, how does it affect your mood, your behaviour, your children's/family's moods, your job and/or your ability to carry out simple daily tasks?' Counselling has so many benefits, stress relief is just one.
Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically. The issue’s you experience may, more than likely, differ than that of another you know who is also experiencing difficulties relating to stress.
Some examples of STRESS indicators/symptoms are:
Stress, for may individuals, may be related to, for example:
Different types of stress?
EPISODIC ACUTE STRESS
(These will be explained in-depth in another blog to follow, along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Please follow my Facebook page www.facebook.com/kslossandgriefcounsellinginhavering for more blog yet to come, all covering emotional and health related issues.
Self-help and management tips
Any experience of 'loss' related issues could be a major cause of stress. Please take a look at my blog
This blog offers an in-depth explanation into the dramatic affects on how, just one loss, can cause an enormous impact on our own life's, as well as our children's and all other family members. Loss is not just a death! It is so, so much more. Hence, I offer counselling for over 80 loss related issues. It's a good read!
Thank you for reading.
Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Loss & Grief Counselling in Havering