What is Stress Management?
Stress is an inevitable part of life. As difficult as it can be, stress can also be a healthy response to events in life. However, stress can become so overwhelming that it interferes with your quality of life and becomes difficult to manage alone. Stress management is talk therapy that aims to help people with this unhealthy type of stress.
How Stress Becomes Unhealthy
Stress is a natural human reaction and can even be useful in some situations. For example, people living thousands of years ago likely had stress reactions to life-threatening animal attacks. This heightened awareness could save lives.
Today, the dangers and stressors we face are different from those of ancient humans. However, the physical and psychological response is similar. Stressors in today’s world often involve work, relationships, and money. While these things are important, they are not immediately life-threatening. As such, an overly stressed response can be unhealthy.
Identifying Chronic Stress
Most people experience episodes of stress throughout life. For example, life transitions can cause temporary episodes of stress. However, when someone experiences prolonged stress, they may develop chronic stress.
Chronic stress develops as a response to long-term triggers, such as an abusive relationship, stressful job, or long-term illness. This prolonged stress elevates the levels of cortisol and adrenaline throughout the body. This reaction can make it difficult to sleep or relax. Eventually, the patient may also develop a sleep or anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
- Unusual and extreme irritability
- Trouble concentrating
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in appetite
- Frequent headaches
- Feelings of helplessness or losing control
The Long-Term Effects of Chronic Stress on Individuals
- Heart disease
- Digestive disorders
- Weight changes
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Memory disorders
Therapy for Stress Management
If you recognize unhealthy stress in yourself, help is available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is one of the most effective treatments for unhealthy stress. In CBT sessions, patients learn to change their negative thinking and behavioral patterns.
Patients and therapists can also identify lifestyle changes that patients can make to improve their mental health. For example, an overworked person might learn to delegate. A therapist can help you find the best lifestyle changes for you.
Teletherapy for Stress
Those dealing with unhealthy stress can still receive therapy, even if they cannot make it to our brick-and-mortar locations. We offer teletherapy which allows patients to receive care via secure video calls. This HIPAA-compliant treatment option delivers the same level of care as an in-office session.