What is Cognitive stress?
You’ve probably heard of the term ‘cognitive stress’ but not be sure what it means. Put simply, all stress is cognitive in origin, meaning that in most cases our perception of events or thoughts causes stress, rather than stress being caused by reality.
It is often so difficult to detach our stressful thoughts and feelings from reality that stress can become part of our lives, leading to chronic stress which can continue for a long period of time. Chronic stress can be debilitating and can lead to physical and mental health issues.
If you or anyone you know think you might be suffering from cognitive stress, seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of Cognitive stress?
Because it is a general term for a range of stress related conditions, the symptoms of cognitive stress are numerous. In general, however, people suffering from cognitive stress will exhibit the same symptoms of chronic stress – that is, feelings of emotional exhaustion and physical tiredness, wanting to sleep a lot or developing insomnia, feelings of not being able to cope or wanting to avoid the things you’d normally enjoy, including social activities or hobbies.
Other symptoms include:
- Stomach complaints such as indigestion
- Overeating or losing your appetite, gaining or losing weight
- Muscles aches and pains
- Losing interest in things that once made you happy
- Restlessness and irritability
- Inability to relax
- Lack of sex drive
- Fearful anticipation
- Depression and sadness
It is clear that stress that is present over the long term can begin to affect your mental health as well as your physical well-being. Chronic stress has been associated with serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.
It can also lead to changes in your behaviour as you try and cope with the day to day toll stress will have on you. This can mean mood swings and not feeling as though you’re in control of your emotions, comfort eating or feeling the need to exercise less regularly and substance abuse.
How common is Cognitive stress?
We can all suffer from periods of stress, and most of us would admit to feeling stressed on a regular basis. However recent research suggests that long term cognitive or chronic stress affects around 2 in 5 Australians. Of those, more than a quarter report experiencing mental issues such as anxiety, and over 10% admitting they have severe to extremely severe levels of anxiety.
What are the causes of Cognitive stress?
Everyone will react differently to periods of stress or under the same circumstances, so it is always difficult to pin down the exact cause of one person’s cognitive or chronic stress. Whereas one person might go through a stressful period at work or at home and shake it off, another might develop symptoms of stress and find it difficult to move on.
It is known that there are certain factors that might make it more likely someone develops cognitive stress. These include:
- Genes – people developing long term stress and symptoms such as depression and anxiety can run in families, and it is believed that certain genetic differences can affect someone’s response and coping mechanisms to differing levels of stress.
- Experiences as children or adolescents – it is known that people who have been abused as children or neglected are more vulnerable to the symptoms of stress.
- Trauma – traumatic events such as witnessing or being involved in a serious crime or war time event can trigger cognitive stress symptoms.
Treatment options for Cognitive stress?
At Brain Training Australia™ we use a blended modality of Neurofeedback Brain Training and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help our clients suffering from Cognitive stress.
Let us help you live a better quality life
Cognitive stress can lead to life altering symptoms that can last over the long term and negatively affect your mental well-being. It’s important to get help early on from a mental health professional who is experienced and trained in creating a tailored Brain Training Program for you.
Here is how to get started.
The first step is to get in contact with us and book in for your first Neurofeedback session.
This will allow you to experience a session, and see if its the right modality for you. We will also be able to advise you, given your presentation, whether Neurofeedback, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or a combination of both would give you the best result.
The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.
We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.