Stress. We all experience it. Some of it can actually be good for us. Stress signals a response in your nervous system that may help you accomplish an important task or do something needed under pressure. But most of it is not so good. Too much stress over too long of a time period equals trouble. It affects our physical and mental health negatively which compromises the nervous, digestive and immune systems. This may look like a pounding heart or sweaty hands, possibly a stomach ache or irritable bowel syndrome. Stress makes it hard to heal, just ask a caregiver.
We are a society on overdrive. There are so many pressures in our day to day lives and they all add up, especially over time. Stress can come from many different places. It could be financial, health, work or relationships, or from being over-scheduled. It could also be from commuting, noise or not getting enough sleep. These are just a few examples.
Are you using destructive behaviors to relieve your stress? You may be using food or alcohol or other drugs to cope. Maybe it’s too much work or TV? Most common “feel good” cures actually cause us more stress. When there is too much stress and pressure in your life you might consider stress counseling.
It all adds up!
When you add it all up you may see that you are at an increased risk for illness. Stress counseling can help you build a tool kit of coping mechanisms that are unique to you. Some healthier options are breathing, exercise, meditation, good sleep and good food. One that I’ve used in the past, when I experienced a very stressful time in my life, was a mantra. I was seeing clients in a private practice, teaching at a community college, and taking care of ailing parents. This was in addition to having three teens in the house! I found myself out of breath, with my mind whirling non-stop. So when I started to experience these physical reactions to my stress I used my mantra. “All the important things in life will get done.” And you know what? They did. Saying this mantra over and over helped me tremendously over time.
Stress counseling is also about helping you to look at your thoughts and to see whether they are rational and objective or irrational. My irrational thought during my stressful time was, “There’s not enough time!” And this was a very loud thought, but it wasn’t true. When I focused on just what was important to do, I got it done. Stress counseling is about you taking back your life and realizing your own power to do so. You’ve got this!