Stress management counselling hebden bridge

Understanding and managing stress

By Dr Jim Byrne

Updated: 24th September 2021


Introduction to stress management counselling, with Dr Jim Byrne

Stressed-woman3Stress is not ‘all in the mind’. It is a real bodily state of over-arousal, which can race your heart and churn your guts; and that makes you feel frightened and panicky.  It is a state of over-arousal that can be reduced when you understand how to manage the mental and physical triggers that allow stress to get out of control.

Stress is aroused when an external stimulus (such as a loud noise, or a hairy animal) causes your body to switch on your so-called sympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as your “fight or flight response”.

Once the threat or other source of arousal has passed, it is normal for the other side of the autonomic nervous system – the parasympathetic nervous system – to kick in, and act like a brake on your over-arousal – thus returning your body to a relaxed state.

Stressed-man2Stress problems arise when this parasympathetic compensation does not occur, normally because your perception is that the threat/ danger/ frustration etc., has not gone away; or your body is so tense that your mind is convinced that threats and dangers are still hanging around.  Your body is still aroused for action, and you are probably (non-consciously) “signalling yourself” habit-based perceptions – or pattern-matching your situation to the wrong response – which keeps your nervous system overly-aroused.  Therefore, if you want to get your stress problem under control, it is important to know how to switch your sympathetic nervous system off, which amounts to the same thing as switching your parasympathetic nervous system on.

(Actually, both sides of your nervous system work in harmony. It’s like driving with a handbrake partly on. The accelerator is the “fight or flight” sympathetic system; and the handbrake is the “rest and digest” parasympathetic system. If you have an efficient [well managed] parasympathetic nervous system, then your accelerator cannot over-arouse your body/mind. If you have a damaged [e.g. traumatized] parasympathetic system, then the accelerator can over-arouse your anxiety/rage/panic responses, inappropriately, and then a third element of the system kicks in. This is called the dorsal-vagal system,which switches your body-mind in “freeze/faint/dissociate”).

There are several techniques that you can learn which will help you to keep the handbrake on your emotions of anger, anxiety and panic (resulting in feelings of excessive stress), and I can teach them to you.

My system consists of asking you to complete a few questionnaires which will show me what is going wrong in your…

  • lifestyle self-management;
  • your philosophy of life and mind management;
  • your time management;
  • your dominant personality characteristics which drive stress;
  • and the unidentified or unregulated external stressors in your life, at home or in work/business.

Go to my online services page to select telephone counselling, Skype counselling, or email counselling options.

Or look at my Main Service in Hebden Bridge.

Or email me to set up an appointment: Dr Jim Byrne at

Or phone me on…

01422 843 629 (from inside the UK)

Or: 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK)


Blue logo Dr Jim ByrneDr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling

ABC Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

September 2021


Stress Management Counselling and Psychotherapy – with Dr Jim Byrne  

Feelings of Stress Destroy the Quality of Your Life

Stress-at-work3Stress can manifest as a constant feeling of being unable to cope with the pressures of life, at home or at work.

In fact, a good definition of stress is this:

Stress = Pressure/Coping ability; or stress equals pressure divided by your coping ability.

The higher your level of coping ability, the more pressure you can handle before your stress level begins to feel like distress.

If you cannot reduce the pressures in your life, then the solution is to increase your coping ability.  Your coping ability consists of both mental and physical elements.  The mental elements have to do with how you frame or interpret your stressors; and how you re-think/re-feel your situation.  Your physical coping ability has to do with ways of minimizing physiological arousal when you are under pressure, and this normally involves making a few lifestyle self-management changes.

DrJimCounselling002I can teach you how to increase your mental and physical coping strategies and skills.

If you want to be able to cope better with the pressures in your life, and to feel happy despite those pressures, I can help you to develop the correct understanding and the appropriate skills.


Go to my online services page to select telephone counselling, Skype counselling, or email counselling options.


Blue logo Dr Jim ByrneTo set up an appointment, call me today on:

Telephone: 01422 843 629 (inside the UK)

Telephone: 44 1422 843 629 (outside the UK)

Or email me to set up an appointment: Dr Jim Byrne

Call me today.

Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling
ABC Counselling and Psychotherapy Services


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