Counselling for stress at work in London and Online
We can spend much of our time at work, therefore, if we experience struggles at work this can potentially have a significant detrimental effect upon our emotional wellbeing both at work and outside of work. Alternatively, it may be that we are mainly experiencing problems outside of work which can affect our confidence and performance at work.
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What are the Signs of High Levels of Work Stress?
Experiencing stress at work is not always a bad thing. Having a degree of stress may be a sign that the work is important to us and we are passionate about it. Some stress can also motivate us to meet challenges we face at work. However, we may experience heightened stress levels that may no longer be helpful but, instead, it can have a negative impact upon us in various ways:
- Increase in heart rate/palpitations
- Increase in breathing rate
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension
- High levels of stress
- High anxiety levels
- Being frequently tearfulness
- Difficulties concentrating
- Difficulties making decisions
- Poor memory
- More mistakes being made
- Difficulties problem solving
- Racing thoughts
- Being short tempered/snappy with others
- Difficulties sitting still and relaxing
- Rushing around/working on more than one task at a time/moving onto another task before you finish the previous task
- Lack of motivation/drive
When work stress levels are particularly high and occur for prolonged periods we may face ‘burn-out’. This is characterised by feeling significantly overwhelmed, struggling to face even a small task like responding to an email as it seems too much, difficulties thinking clearly, severe anxiety and can result in taking time off work. This is your mind and body telling you that the demand upon you cannot be sustained and you need to look after yourself.
What Can Contribute to High Work Stress?
Problems that can occur at work can include a high workload which may lead you to work long hours whilst taking few breaks. You may even find yourself working during what should be your leisure time, perhaps in the evenings and over the weekends. As you can see, work then begins to dominate your life and leaves little time for other meaningful activities.
If your work involves faced challenging tasks this can also contribute to high stress levels and low confidence. They may be challenging as they may be unfamiliar, complex and they may require us to draw upon a skill set that we do not perceive to be our strengths.
The “imposter syndrome”
A common issue that people experience is the “imposter syndrome”. This involves feeling as though at any moment you will be “found out” and your colleagues/managers may discover that you are not actually as intelligent or skilled as they originally thought. You may believe that you have just been lucky to get to where you have got to in your career and perhaps that you only appear to be seen as good at your job because you put in a lot of time and effort. This contributes to a fear that if you were not to work as hard or things do not go well at work for whatever reason then you will be found out and that you may even lose your job. The fear of being ‘found out’ can lead people to work very hard and also try to avoid situations where they fear they may ‘fail’.
You may feel you are alone with this feeling, however, the “imposter syndrome” is a phenomenon that is shared by many. In therapy you can be helped to learn that your worries about being an “imposter” are most likely unfounded and that you are underestimating your intelligence and skills.
It may be that low self-esteem is playing a role in contributing to these work issues outlined above. For some people, low self-esteem can be associated with perfectionism. Perfectionism is characterised by feeling that you are not good enough, that you can always be doing better, downplaying achievements, dismissing compliments, fear of failure, striving for approval from others, worrying excessively that others are judging you negatively, comparing oneself with others and being highly self-critical. These can add to the pressure that is experienced at work.
Some people struggle with public speaking which work may entail. This may be a longstanding difficulty or one that has recently developed. High anxiety and stress levels may be experienced even at the prospect of having to do public speaking. You may worry excessively about how others will judge your performance and they will be able to clearly notice that you are anxious which would be unacceptable to you.
Uncertainty and Difficult Work Conditions
Other difficulties at work that people can face are being dissatisfied with their current position and job prospects, being unsure what decision(s) to make regarding whether to stay in their role or look for another job, having difficulties with colleagues/managers and difficulties being assertive.
People can cope with their anxieties, stress and low confidence at work in various ways. They may ‘overcompensate’ by working very hard, for example, work long hours, not take sufficient breaks, take on extra work and not say “no” to tasks given to them. Some people may do the opposite and avoid or put off tasks then perhaps have to rush to get things done at the last minute when there is a deadline. Both of these ways of coping can further fuel anxiety and stress.
When Should I Seek Help for Work and Career Stress?
If you are facing high stress levels, it is having a detrimental impact upon you at work and/or outside of work and you are struggling to cope, it may be helpful to reach out for support and seek counselling for work stress.
You may perceive your colleagues around you as coping ok when they have just as much on and you may think to yourself that experiencing high stress levels is just inherent in the work place, therefore, you should ‘just get on with it’ and you are not deserving of help. As you are struggling and others around you don’t appear to be struggling this perhaps leads you to conclude that there must be a problem within you. This may contribute to self-critical thinking which serves to have a further detrimental impact upon your emotional wellbeing. You are not alone with your struggles. Many people struggle with high levels of work stress and have difficulties coping. Facing high work stress levels does not have to be just tolerated and you don’t have to keep pushing through. High levels of work stress don’t have to hold you back, it can be combated so you can be happier both at work and outside of work.
What happens in Counselling for stress at work?
At Therapy Central we can support you with any work or career related problem that you are experiencing. We will explore with you the reason(s) for these problems, how they are affecting you, how you are coping and then help you to find ways to work through them. Through exploring the reason(s) for these problems we may be able to work together to gain an insight into how underlying problems, perhaps outside of work, are feeding into the problems. We can introduce you to tools and concepts that can help you to address thinking and behavioural patterns that may be playing a role in maintaining your difficulties. We can support you to tackle the emotional impact your work/career issues are having upon you, such as depression, anxiety, stress and low confidence.
How Long Does Counselling for Stress at Work Last?
The length of therapy to address work stress varies depending upon the severity of the difficulty. Some people can make significant improvements in just a few sessions. However, others require more time in therapy to explore and unpick things in greater detail as well as require support over a longer period to learn various ways to tackle work stress. Usually people require between six and eighteen sessions to tackle work stress and make significant improvement.
Does Counselling/Therapy help with Work Stress? What are the Best Therapy Approaches?
Many people seek therapy for work stress at Therapy Central and find the therapy beneficial in combating this issue. You can learn ways to better manage work stress, to reduce it and to reduce its detrimental impact upon your life. There is not one preferred therapy approach or model that is considered the ‘best’ when it comes to tackling work stress. Your therapist will draw upon therapy approach(es)/model(s) that they think will suit your needs in line with your presenting difficulties and in line with your preference (if you have one). Some people prefer to use the therapeutic space to offload and explore their difficulties in great depth. Others prefer for the focus to be mainly on learning coping strategies. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a mixture of the two; to have time for exploration and to learn coping strategies. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a common therapy model that has shown to be helpful for a wide range of emotional difficulties and your therapist may think you would benefit from being introduced to CBT concepts and tools to help you manage your work stress. And/or your therapist may feel that you would benefit from being introduced to other strategies from other models.
What are the Benefits of Counselling for stress at work?
Seeking therapy for work stress can help you reduce the stress you experience and prevent it from having a detrimental impact upon your life; in and outside of work. The negative impact it has been having upon you emotionally, behaviourally, physically and cognitively can be reduced. This can enable you to gain more satisfaction from your work life, your performance at work can improve and you can pursue things that your high stress levels have been holding you back from.
Counselling for stress at work in London and Online
If you are looking for Work Stress Counselling or therapy in Central London, at Therapy Central we can help you learn the strategies you need to start dealing with it. As a result, you’ll be enabled to make the crucial changes to bring balance and fulfilment back into your life.
It’s not easy to recognise and deal with issues such as work stress. Some of us may feel afraid or embarrassed by the thoughts our minds produce, but remember if you’re experiencing this it is not your fault, and you should not deal with it alone.
Get professional help and Work Stress Therapy in London and Online today. Contact us for a free 15 min consultation with a Work Stress Therapist to see if our help would fit your needs. You can also get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (+44) 020 348 82797.
Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). We also provide therapy online, via Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, and more. Change starts with Talking!
Dr Raffaello Antonino, Counselling Psychologist
Dr Amy Smith, Counselling Psychologist