Sometimes all the stresses of life compound, tightening your chest, shortening your temper, or making you want to sleep until it all goes away. But, a tight chest isn’t good for your health, and sleeping the days away won’t solve the problems causing you stress.
What will help is talking to a neutral, compassionate therapist who can give you perspective on what’s bothering you and develop a game plan to cope with it in a healthy way. Thriveworks Portage can quickly get you an appointment with Starr Bull, our licensed professional counselor. Starr is a friendly, compassionate therapist—and her office truly is a judgement-free zone. If you’re struggling, considering giving us a call. You don’t have to wait to feel better.
How Stress Works
Stress refers to the feelings of pressure and urgency in a given situation. Low-level stress can help motivate people to succeed and is not usually harmful. However, stress can easily become overwhelming, which can cause negative effects on one’s life and ability to deal with difficult situations. When left unchecked, stress can cause serious health problems that can worsen if ignored or left unresolved.
You’ve heard of the fight or flight response as a reaction to physical threats on one’s life, right? Some of the physical responses to unmanaged stress and worry are increased heart rate, blood pressure, or blood sugar. These physical ailments can present severe health concerns associated with them, especially over prolonged periods of time.
But what’s interesting is that it’s not only physical threats that cause these reactions—emotional and intellectual threats also cause this reaction.
Causes of Stress In Life Events
Many normal parts of life can cause a stress reaction. These experiences can range from marriage to divorce, job transitions, family gatherings, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a deadline for work, etc. Even when the experience is a positive one, such as planning a wedding, the excitement and urgency can cause stress, though the positivity of the event will often lessen the physical or mental effects.
The physical, mental, and emotional ailments of the stress are usually temporary and fade quickly after the urgency and pressure of the situation have passed. However, chronic stress can become overwhelming, leading to a serious problem that may require outside assistance from a doctor or mental health professional.
How Therapy Can Help With Stress and Life Issues
When the stress of life affects you negatively in any way, a mental health professional can help. In fact, stress and general life management is one of the most common reasons people seek counseling near Portage.
Counseling with a licensed therapist is done through talk therapy in order to find the root causes for the stress or problems in a person’s current situation. Once the problems are identified, the therapist can then help the patient find more effective ways to cope with stressful situations. Typically, therapists will also be able to recommend stress reduction tactics that can be used to manage stress in future situations.
One of the first steps in dealing with an individual stressor is to determine whether or not the stressor is within your control or outside of your control. For example, if your job is based on deadlines, the stressor is outside of your control—unless you decide to change careers, which can bring on its own stress. In this case, while you can’t control the stressors, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the pressure such as getting plenty of sleep and finding times in the workday to take sufficient breaks. When you discover what is inside your control and what isn’t, you can adjust your life accordingly.
Part of a therapist’s job is to help clients work on their plans for the future by dealing with their past and present life situations. One of the first steps is looking into a person’s past situations for insight into their responses to current situations. A therapist is meant to feel more like a coach than an instructor, and their goal is to work together with their client as a team.
In order to deal with stressful, overwhelming thoughts, everyone needs to be able to talk with someone to get a sense of grounding and approach the situation in a more objective, constructive manner. When you talk with a therapist, you can gain a better perspective on who you are and what you need.
Behavioral therapy is often one of the most effective tools in dealing with stress, as it can help us find new ways of thinking and greatly lessen the pressure and sense of urgency associated with stressful situations. Therapy can help address these concerns and their effect on a person’s life and a therapist can help figure out the best course of action needed for the client to live their best life.