Stress, Hormones and Redundancy
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Tricia Johnson MBACP (Senior Accredited)
9th January, 2010
What do stress, hormones and redundancy have in common? It’s a strange thought, but they do have a very important connection: they each have the ability to make us feel absolutely awful and cause us to react and behave in ways that we would much rather not. Whether it’s bursting into tears at the slightest thing, struggling to get to sleep, shouting at those we normally get on well with – whatever it is, we don’t like how it is affecting us, but don’t know what we can do about it.
If we were asked, we would say that we were getting upset over things that wouldn’t normally upset us. And in some respects, this is true – but only to a certain extent. If we were to look at it closely, we would actually find that these aren’t new issues. It may be that when stressed or hormonal we find, for example, that we get really angry about others in the house not putting things away after themselves. Or it might be that we get upset when we are not being listened to, or our wishes are being ignored. But closer investigation of those times when we might feel irritated or annoyed in more normal circumstances often reveals that it is those same issues, but we ride above them and don’t let them get to us. So, in some senses we are right, they don’t normally bother us – but only because we have learnt to cope with them. In some extreme circumstances, we might not even be aware that they are issues for us; we have got so good at riding above them. Exploration of these issues, then, when we are particularly stressed, will not only alleviate the distress at that moment in time, but could also reduce our distress at other times and make life generally more relaxed.
Yes, without a doubt, stress, hormones (and redundancy!) can cause us to feel great distress and reduce our ability to cope with things; and in some respects we cannot stop ourselves from having this reaction any time we are stressed or hormonal. But, if we carefully explore what is distressing us and our emotional responses and then properly process them, we can get to a place where there is not so much to be exaggerated and further stress or hormones will have considerably less impact on us.
What can be done?
As with anything the first step is to accept that we are going through a difficult time. If we fight the distress we are experiencing it will only make it worse as we add in the distress of not liking the way that we are.
Having accepted the situation, we might then find that journaling, sharing with friends and / or family, reading or reflecting on what is going on can help us process these things for ourselves and thus gain insight and respite. However, for many of us this isn’t possible. We may not have friends or family that we can talk to in this way, or we simply don’t know where to start in trying to make sense of what we are feeling. In this case, we could gain benefit from talking with a counsellor or psychotherapist who is trained in helping people to overcome such problems.
Either way, no one has to continue with that sense of distress and confusion. We don’t need to feel so awful. There is hope!
If you would like further help in this matter, or anything else, then please do feel free to contact me without commitment. I would be happy to hear from you!
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