Moderate amounts of short-term stress can help you rise to a challenge and can optimise your performance. However, becoming over stressed or chronically stressed will actually decrease productivity and performance.
Long term stress and the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin has been scientifically linked to poor physical health including: cardio-vascular disease; high blood pressure; muscular pain; suppressed immune functioning; skin problems; migraine; diabetes and infertility.
People who are under high levels of stress will often report having a 'short fuse'; being quick to anger; irritable; frustrated and impatient. Given these symptoms, a lot of people with high stress will be having relationship difficulties.
Common causes of stress include problems at work or in relationships, renovation or relocation, retrenchment or unemployment, a traumatic event, illness or disability, workplace bullying, change, high work load and unrealistic expectations.
Psychological therapy is not only aimed at helping you minimise the things in your life causing you stress (if possible), but will teach you techniques to manage the unhelpful thinking that contributes to stress; manage the symptoms of stress itself; teach relaxation skills; as well as reversing any unhelpful behaviours that may be keeping you in a stress cycle.