Stress is a fact of life, the result of forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. Because it is pervasive in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience.
In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, your home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you’re confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness, the amount of sleep/rest you get, as well as your emotional well-being.
Often stress is aggravated by the expectations we place on ourselves or that we perceive to be held by others. Psychotherapy can assist us to discover the conscious and unconscious origins of such expectations, often freeing us to make our own decisions about what we are able or willing to do. Although most people find great comfort in therapy, some people can experience stress within the therapy and this can become a source of great insight into our perceptions of what others expect, as stressful situations are examined in the course of therapy.