How do I know when I am stressed?
Natural bodily responses to stress are endless and include raised levels of cortisone, insulin and thyroxin, or lowered levels of endorphins or sex hormones which can cause symptoms such as repeated colds or infections, migraines, backache, loss of libido, nausea, abdominal pain, excessive sweating, reduced sensations – of touch, taste or vision.

No wonder there is a wellness imbalance and loss of potential to achieve harmony and be happy when we are stressed. Current evidence based research indicates that the way to promote wellness is through lifestyle modifications. A healthy diet, regular physical activity, managing stress, avoiding destructive habits and adopting personal health habits, seeking medical advice, practicing some form of spirituality, being an informed person and protecting the environment are all factors which can lead to a better quality of life.

Isn’t stress good for me?
Stress in manageable quantities is beneficial as it can motivate and enable us to perform to the best of our abilities.

However, if we don’t manage stress it can dramatically affect our life adversely, both in the short and long term, because of the damage it causes to our physical and psychological health. A serious imbalance to our sense of well being and quality of life can result.

A lot of research confirms the link between psychosocial factors and cardiovascular health, or stress and illness. If you are finding that stress is impacting on your life such that it is causing you pain, anxiety, panic attacks and depression, or inexplicable physical symptoms (and you have seen your doctor and have a medical clearance as to the cause of symptoms) then Christine would like to help you with either counselling and/or walking.

When can counselling help me?
Are you burdened with the heartaches of life, which are causing you incredible stress?
Asking for help when you need it due to a crisis or difficult time in your life requires courage and initiative (to take those steps). As the founder of “Walking Together” Christine practices counselling in an integrated way (not holding to any one specific theoretical approach) to provide a confidential, caring, non-judgemental environment to aid healing and assist you to work towards improving your own idea of a better quality of life.

Difficult times when we may benefit from counselling include times in life of change and challenge such as:

• Migration
• New parenthood
• Diagnoses of illness or self, or those close to you
• When the children leave home – “the empty nest syndrome”
• Caring for the aged or family members
• The death of those close to you
• Relationship breakdown
• Times of weight gain or loss
• Entering the “third age” of senior citizenship.

During stressful times such as these counselling may offer one means of exploring and relieving some of the loneliness, confusion and pain as well as assisting you to bring about your own lasting positive improvements.

What are the benefits of counselling?
Within a therapeutic relationship a counsellor can:

• Help you address and verbalise your problems, anxieties and feelings
• Help you take control of the situation, rather than it controlling you
• Help you formulate goals and work out strategies to achieve them
• Help reassure and support you, in particular work with you to improve your quality of life.