We would like to introduce Avtar Gill, an Addictions Counsellor, who is taking part in our Stress Awareness Series. Avtar Gill will be covering how to manage stress over the course of this series, as well as which changes could be made in the workplace to better address high levels of stress. If you, or someone you know is struggling with any form of addiction and would like to seek support Avtar can be contacted at Additions and Recovery .
What attracted you to becoming a professional in the mental health industry?
I entered into the counselling profession later on in life. It began with my own journey in rehab. At age 30, I underwent 6 months of rehabilitation due to my drink and drugs addiction. This is where I learnt about my behaviour and addressed the underlying issues that fuelled it. As I progressed through the treatment, I began to really investigate counselling further. I could see the benefits that counselling had on me and how it helped me through my addiction, and I wanted to use what I had learnt to help other people.
Since completing rehab, I have began working as an Addictions Counsellor.
What are some of the leading causes of stress?
For many people, stress triggers can be completely different. General life events can cause stress such as; births, deaths, marriages, moving house, redundancy, serious ill health. Many of these are major life changing events. However, there are smaller events that can cause stress or even minor triggers such as; losing keys, being rejected, losing a bet, all these and more can lead to making one feel stress and anxious.
Regardless of the trigger, it is my belief that we don’t have to be victims of circumstance(s) and that it is our response to what happens to us that determines our quality of life.
Is a small amount of stress actually good for us? Or is it all negative?
Stress doesn’t all have to be negative. A small, manageable amount of stress can inspire and motivate us to do more or become better than what we are. If a person feels stressed it is generally down to not feeling in control, and some people bring that control into their lives by taking action. For instance, if a person needs to give a presentation at work, the feeling of stress will make them practice the presentation beforehand, they will research the topic so they are confident in what they are going to speak about. The core of their stress will be focused on being in control and taking action.
Living day to day with a constant feeling of stress is not good as it can affect your health, so the way in which you deal with stress is important. Some may say that a life without stress would be relatively mundane.