Tension or a series of adverse events often cause someone to become stressed, defined as a state of mental or emotional strain, caused by demanding circumstances, that triggers the “fight or flight” response. It is an immediate, uncontrollable, and normal psychological reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. Stress can influence both physical and emotional well-being, which is why stress management is so important.
A little bit of stress can be exciting. It keeps us active and alert, and is a very normal reaction to daily pressures. But once a situation ceases to cause stress, the body and mind should return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that this alarm system rarely shuts off, and “chronic” stress can have detrimental effects on someone’s health unless they learn how to alter their reaction. If maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing mindfulness, for example, is not enough, therapy is highly recommended. When it comes to high levels of stress, a mental health professional can often help people learn how to alter their lifestyle, environment, or outlook on life.
To understand how therapy can help, it is important to understand what triggers someone to become stressed and what happens if it isn’t addressed. From there, clients learn how to manage their time and learn a number of different ways to cope and relax.
One of the most important types of stress to understand and control is when people create their own stress by worrying about situations that simply cannot be controlled. It can cause feelings of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, anger, sadness, depression, and at times leads to a lack of motivation or focus. Some people become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense lifestyle that results from being under stress. They even look for stressful situations and feel stress about things that aren't stressful.
Another form of stress is caused by someone’s environment, such as too much pressure from work or family, financial problems, or difficulties in a relationship. While in therapy, people suffering from environmental stress will learn how to identify their triggers and come up with a strategy of how to deal with them in a healthy manner.
If you'd like to talk to someone about stress management, please contact us.