Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence or can repeatedly happen over a long time.
Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life. In certain situations, especially in short bursts, stress can be positive. Short-term moderate stress can make you more alert, help you avoid danger, and outperform to meet a deadline. Too much or prolonged stress can harm your health. Preventing and Managing the long-term stress in your life makes a huge difference in your mental and physical health.
You can manage stress by deep breathing technics or meditation. Long-term stress management also includes physical exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep hygiene. If your stress doesn’t go away or gets worse, make to get help from mental health professionals as early as you can. Untreated prolonged stress can lead to more serious problems like depression or anxiety.
Summit counselors offer therapy for stress management that can help you take control of your mental health by changing unhealthy behavioral patterns to reduce the negative effects of stress on your mind and body.
Am I Stressed?
Signs of prolonged stress:
Diarrhea or constipation: Stress can make you sick, causing an upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
Anxiety: You may have trouble sleeping, a racing heart, and other physical symptoms of anxiety when stress is taking a toll on you.
Racing thoughts: When under intense stress, you may have difficulty concentrating or controlling your thoughts. You might find yourself easily distracted. This is often called "jumping to conclusions." If this happens to you regularly due to stress, try to learn new ways to control your attention and focus. Make lists of things that need to be done and keep them handy.
Forgetfulness: Unnecessary worry can cause you to lose track of time, forgetting to do necessary things such as taking medication or lunch with your family.
Frequent aches and pains: The stress hormone cortisol increases the pain response, so minor aches and pains can feel worse.
Headaches: This is one of the most common symptoms of stress.
Lack of energy or focus: You may feel tired or have trouble concentrating.
Sexual problems: Stress makes it harder to make love and harder to have an orgasm. If stress raises your blood pressure or the pain of a headache, you may be more likely to experience sexual problems.
Stiff jaw or neck: These symptoms are often related to stress but can also be caused by other problems.
Memory problems: Unresolved stress can cause you to lose touch with your short-term memory. You may forget where you put your keys or leave a pot on the stove and then not remember until it's too late.
Tiredness: Stress can make you feel more tired than usual and more prone to illness.
Trouble sleeping or too much: If you have trouble sleeping, your overall health may be affected.
Upset stomach: You may feel nauseous, have an upset stomach, or experience diarrhea.
Use of alcohol or drugs to relax: Some people use alcohol to relax, which can mask the emotions that must be dealt with. Alcohol and drugs are also addictive, making you less able to deal with stress without them.
Weight loss or gain: Stress can make you feel hungry, which is one of the main causes of weight gain.
Best Practices to Reduce Stress & Anxiety
1) Laugh: Laughter can have a powerful impact on stress levels. The hormones that are released when people laugh help alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Make laughter a regular part of your day. Seek out the humor in each day, even in small moments. Watch a funny show, visit an entertaining website or find someone who can give you an occasional laugh.
2) Connect with People: One of the best ways to manage your stress level is to befriend positive people. There is power in being around cheerful and nurturing individuals who will boost your mood and help you cope with life's general frustrations.
3) Commit to Good Mental Health: Take good care of yourself by eating well and getting plenty of physical and mental rest. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise is one of the best ways to cope with stress levels by promoting good mental health.
4) Nature connection: Get out into the natural world and become more mindful of your surroundings. Being more aware of your surroundings can help you to be more in control of your body, mind, and emotions. Spending some time in nature helps to reduce stress levels.
5) Get Support: Reach out to friends and family when you feel stressed or anxious and ask for a hand when needed. If your stress is causing problems in your relationships, speak with the people you live with or work with about how you can support them through this difficult time.
6) Positive social interaction: Engaging in positive social interaction, such as with your family or friends, is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Positive relationships boost your mood, providing an optimistic outlook on life.
7) Crying: This may seem counterproductive, but it's a healthy way to release your feelings. Don't hold back when you're experiencing sadness. If you allow yourself to express the depth of your pain, the tears will wash away the stress and anxiety that comes with the emotion.
8) Practice Mindfulness: One of the best ways to manage stress is to look at your thoughts objectively. Try using mindfulness or meditation techniques, which will help you to hone in on your thoughts and appreciate them for what they are – just thoughts, not facts or truth. Acknowledging that your thoughts cannot control you is one of the best ways to reduce stress levels.
Get Help Today
Stress & Anxiety
Stress is normal, but prolonged stress will become anxiety that continues after the stressor is gone. If you notice that your stress lasts for a long time, it's important to find a counselor for therapy for work stress.
Our therapists at Summit Counseling Group will work with you to develop a personalized approach to reducing stress and improving your quality of life. We can help you pinpoint specific events that trigger you and help you create an action, and equip you with a toolbox to change them.