Relieve Stress: Gain Insight by Identifying Our Needs
Looking for ways to relieve stress? Ever feel helpless or totally overwhelmed? Typically, when we feel stressed out, we need something. Identifying our needs seems like such a simple concept, yet it often can be quite difficult to do. I have found that most of my clients haven’t even asked themselves what their needs are. They tend to get stuck on thoughts of, “I wish my life were different…I wish things weren’t this way…I wish I were more ____________ (fill in the blank) or less ____________ (fill in the blank)…I just want to be happier”, etc. Those thoughts don’t really address our needs though, and that’s where we should start.
Now, we all have different needs and have different preferences for how we’d like our needs to be met, but sometimes, we don’t even know what our true needs really are, much less how to meet them. Sometimes it’s because we’re afraid to face our true needs. That’s when we find ourselves engaging in unhealthy behaviors. It could be that we were never taught how to take good care of ourselves. Maybe that wasn’t modeled for us growing up or maybe self-care wasn’t valued. Another factor that compounds this issue is the fact that in our society (depending on a person’s culture) asking for help can be stigmatized. People don’t want to be perceived as being weak or broken. Sadly, for some people, it’s far more acceptable to eat a whole tub of ice cream in one sitting than to admit to needing help.
So, when you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and needing to relieve stress, etc., slow down, quiet yourself, and ask, “What do I really need right now?” Most times our initial response might be something like, “I need less stress in my life!” From there, continue to ask yourself follow-up questions like, “What does that mean exactly? What does that look like? What does that feel like? What does that entail? How might that be achieved?”
Maybe it’s an emotional need: to feel accepted, supported, or heard. Maybe it’s a more tangible need: more help around the house or certain resources/tools at work. Maybe it’s an environmental need: more peace and quiet or more comfort. Maybe it’s a psychological need: to treat ourselves with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. It’s helpful to clarify your needs and to be as specific as possible. Breaking things down into smaller, more easily manageable action steps can help keep us from feeling even more overwhelmed than we already do when we’re experiencing stress.
If you need to relieve stress and get help identifying and articulating your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Eddins Counseling Group throughout the state of Texas. We are here to listen, to support, and to encourage you throughout this process. Things can be different!
We also offer online therapy. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to help you!
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