Research has proven emotional stress is a major contributing factor the six leading causes of death in united states (cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide) (source). Stress literally kills.
At the same time, not all stress is bad. Stress pushes us to study hard, get up early, and reach our goals. It urges us become the best version that we can and is a warning sign when something isn’t quite right in our lives. This type of positive stress is controlled by you. The unmanaged stress that is so common in today’s society is the kind that controls you.
So how can we manage such a precarious balance between healthy and unhealthy stress?
Thriveworks Middleburg Heights stress management counselors have years of experience working with stress and can give you the tools you need to manage stress now and in the future. You don’t have to live with stress constantly hanging over you, influencing everything you do. Freedom from the confines stress puts on your life is out there, and you can get started today.
Why Am I So Stressed?
Stress is hardwired into us. It alerts our brains to danger and kicks our body into high gear- our blood starts pumping faster, our thoughts start to race, every nerve is primed with the flight or fight response ready to get us out of danger.
This was all good and fine when we were running from predators and had to hunt to survive. Nowadays, there’s usually not a good reason for your stress to be triggered in a Walmart food aisle. But that stress mechanisms are still there, resulting in your brain making life threatening situations out of non-threatening situations.
Of course, those situations might still completely warrant stress. A blown tire, an approaching deadline, or conflict with a close friend are all entirely valid reasons to become stressed. The result of those incidents affects your life, so your body will use stress to make sure you have the best chance of success. But managing that stress can be tricky.
Stress can come from anywhere, and you are valid in however you are currently feeling stress. Thriveworks Middleburg Heights stress management therapists have found these to become common signs of unmanaged, unhealthy stress:
- Consistently avoiding confrontation (the “flight” response)
- Irritation or angry outburst (the “fight” response)
- Chronic headaches
- Joint pain
- Stomach pain
- Panic attacks
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory loss
- Difficulty focusing
- Impulsive behavior
- Change in eating habits
This is just a short list of what someone burnt out on stress might look like; it is not all inclusive. Whatever your experience, you are not beyond help. Even the most stressed-out people can learn to control and manage their stress. You deserve peace of mind.
What Does Stress Management Counseling Look Like?
Stress will always be a part of our lives. So, the goal of stress management counseling is not to eliminate all stress. The goal is to give you the tools you need to combat stress when it arises. The ability to remain in a positive mental health space while taking care of your physical health during times of stress is a life skill you will use a lot.
The ever-present nature of stress is also why changing your circumstances isn’t always the answer. Sometimes it is- an unfit job, a stressful living situation, or a toxic relationship might all be circumstances causing stress that can be cut out. But even if you remove your major stressor, stress will find a way back into your life. So, learning good coping techniques is crucial to a healthy life.
Some stress management techniques include:
- Learning how to relax your mind and body when you are in a stressful moment
- Proactively plan stress relievers
- Acknowledge underlying problems that might be causing stress (a mental illness, habit, circumstance, etc.)
- Build healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy nutrition
- Learn how to lean on your support group
- Identify stress before it becomes overwhelming
- How to stop stress from growing out of control
- Pick out negative thought processes that are driving stress and learn to replace them with positive thoughts
There is no one way to combat stress. Every person functions a little differently. That’s why Middleburg Heights OH stress management counselors focus on your individuality. We want to use the strengths you already have to beat back stress and create a healthy life. For more information on what that means or to schedule an appointment today, give us a call.