While moderate levels of stress can help you accomplish your goals and get things done, constant stress can put your well-being at risk. Stress upsets your emotional and psychological equilibrium and might damage your physical health.
Stress negatively affects your ability to think, function, or enjoy life. You might think that you cannot do anything about stress with the load of responsibilities you have to shoulder, but stress management with the help of a professional can be life-changing.
What is Stress?
Stress is defined as a physical and psychological response to change or a challenging event (called stressors). It is a feeling of being under an abnormal amount of pressure. It is a normal part of our life and pretty much everyone goes through it to some degree.
Stress responses can help us cope with challenging situations. However, long-term stress can become a problem, causing wear and tear on the psychological and physical self.
Stress has a cumulative effect, which means that it piles up. When stressed, one can feel threatened and upset.
You can experience stress due to various stressors or triggers. Stress has to do with our subjective response to an objective reality which stems from our unique experiences. That is why an extremely stressful situation for one person can be a mere challenge for another.
Why Do We Feel Stressed?
We get stressed when we feel that we are not equipped to handle certain situations. One might also get stressed if others have high expectations from them, but they have little to no control over their circumstances.
People are stressed by their daily routine, jobs, health problems, relationships, and financial issues. Mundane things such as clutter, attending an event with lots of people, and busy schedules can also cause stress.
You cannot avoid stress as change is a part of life, so your goal shouldn’t be eliminating it. Stress management with a therapist teaches you ways to effectively manage unnecessary stress. With therapy, you can also learn key skills to cope with stressors.
Signs of Stress
Stress affects everyone differently, as our responses are based on our unique perceptions of change. Here are the most common symptoms of stress.
- Muscle tension
- Feelings of overwhelm
- A state of constant worry
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Anger and irritability
- Difficulty relaxing
- Changes in eating habits, such as eating more or less
- Use of recreational substances to relax
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Feelings of nausea and sickness
- Changes in sleep pattern
Therapy for Stress Management
Stress becomes harmful when we fail to process and manage it. That is why therapy or counseling can help you manage stress in various ways. Here are some ways therapists can help you treat symptoms of stress and manage it.
A safe and healthy space to express
Therapists make sure that they give their clients a safe space to express and release their emotions. They help you face your issues and find ways to resolve your problems in an environment that is both compassionate and trustworthy.
Awareness of Your Thought-Processes
To manage stress, it is important to understand what are the underlying causes of your response to a challenging situation. Therapists help you identify your symptoms and patterns of behavior so that you can take measures to manage your response to stressors.
Control of Your Responses
As emotional responses can be controlled, you can take small steps to cope with stressors. Your therapist will help you feel more focused, centered, and empowered, by teaching you how to control your responses. Once you recognize ways to control how you react to something, you can effectively manage stress.
Use of relaxation strategies
The most common symptom of stress is the inability to relax. A stressful situation kick starts a fight-or-flight response, making you get overwhelmed. Therapists can teach you to intentionally switch off this response by calming your thoughts.
Counselors and therapists can help you identify and internalize coping mechanisms that work well for you. Clients can implement these key skills into their everyday routine, and stick with them all their life to combat stress.
Your therapist can help you build a routine that incorporates healthy self-care in your daily life. This enables you to eliminate unnecessary stressors by focusing on your self-worth. Taking good care of your body and mind also strengthens them against stressors.
We want you to know…
It is natural to be stressed. However, long-term experiences with stress can lead to negative psychological and physical symptoms, along with developing damaging behaviors. If stress interferes with your peace of mind, it is best to seek professional help.
At The Hardy Clinic, you can look for a therapist who specializes in stress. Our professionals can help you confront the major stressors in your life and teach you key skills for reducing stress in your daily life.