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- Do minor problems seem to upset you excessively?
- Do the small pleasures of life fail to satisfy you?
- Are you unable to stop worrying?
- Do you feel inadequate or suffer from self-doubt?
- Are you constantly tired?
- Do you experience flashes of anger over minor problems?
- Do you suffer from chronic pain, headaches or backaches?
If you answered “yes” to most of the questions, then you may benefit from stress management counseling to develop coping skills to deal with and reduce chronic stress.
Our stress management counseling services in Houston can help you learn how to cope with a life situation that you may find difficult to manage.
What is Stress?
Stress is the way that we respond physically, emotionally, mentally, and behaviorally to both positive and negative change in our lives, imposed demands, or situations in which we feel we have no control. Even imagined change can cause stress. Stress by itself isn’t problematic as our bodies are designed to cope with stress.
Stress becomes problematic when it is persistent or we don’t feel equipped to cope with the change. This can leave our body on overdrive without time to heal and move back to equilibrium. Over time, stress reactions can lead to premature aging, cognitive impairment, anxiety or depression, and drained energy and mental clarity, which is why it’s a good idea to talk with someone when you start feeling overstressed.
High Life Stressors
These particular events are known to be amongst the highest stress producing events in one’s life. They often create significant symptoms of stress and anxiety and can lead to depression when not processed effectively.
- Losing one’s job (read more about our job search counseling)
- Going through a divorce or break-up
- Death or loss of a family member or close relationship
- Diagnosis of a chronic or serious illness
- Moving, especially to an area with no support system
- Life changes such as marriage, infertility or the birth of a child
- Trauma or natural disaster (read more about how EMDR therapy can help)
Stress is a normal response to change. However, when our bodies are in a chronic state of stress or we experience continuous stress without relief or relaxation in between, it can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health. Even more dangerous is that we can become numb to chronic stress, it becomes the “new normal.” This is particularly true in cases of childhood trauma. The body physically can be left in a state of chronic stress, which is the “normal” state.
Sometimes life is tough and you may find yourself moving from one stressful circumstance
to the next. While we can’t change what occurs in your life, we can help you cope with the stress, which can prevent more serious factors such as depression, anxiety or physical health problems from surfacing.
Other times, you may wonder if there is a dark cloud following you. Sometimes, the way that we respond to circumstances can increase our stress and create additional problems. Some examples include resisting or fighting against change we have no control over, difficulty accepting a negative circumstance that has occurred in our lives, unresolved trauma, or not believing we can handle difficulties (“I’ll fall apart.”) Sometimes, stress or the anticipation of stress leads us to avoid tackling important yet difficult issues. This can lead to a snowball effect and create chronic stress in our lives.
How Stress Affects the Body
When we find ourselves in situations that challenge us too much we react with the “fight or flight” stress response. Stress actually begins in our brains and it is expressed in our body. Once we perceive stress our body sends our chemical messengers in the form of stress hormones to help our bodies handle the stress. When these stress hormones are persistent is when trouble starts with our health.
Stress causes physical changes to occur in our bodies. Sometimes, the emotional impact of stress is overlooked and the only symptoms are physical illness. Examples include ulcers, headaches or migraines, digestive disorders, weight gain, fatigue, muscle tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Stress can also lead to addictions such as alcoholism or compulsive eating.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
When stress hormones are repeatedly triggered, chronic stress occurs. Our body does signal us when we are we are experiencing the effects of chronic stress. Chronic stress can damage physical and emotional health. Symptoms include:
- Tension, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, back pain, restlessness, insomnia
- Digestive upset, abdominal pain, appetite change
- Forgetfulness, low productivity, confusion, poor concentration, negativity, busy mind
- Anxiety, mood swings, irritability, depression, resentment, anger, impatience, worrying, feeling pressured
- Lashing out, decreased sex drive, lack of intimacy, isolation, intolerance, loneliness, avoiding social situations, alcohol, tobacco, and/or drug use
- Apathy, loss of direction, emptiness, loss of life’s meaning, no sense of purpose
What is Stress Management Counseling?
When stress builds up it make it difficult for you to concentrate and feel like yourself. To start with, counseling is a place for you to express and process the stress in your life so that it isn’t build up inside. We all can benefit from outside help for stress in our lives. If nothing else, it can be a calming way to relieve tension and gain clarity about your situation.
A counselor can help you to work through the emotions that are triggered, gain different perspectives about your situation, relieve pressure, and identify ways to cope. This might involve learning and practicing new skills or identifying strategies you already have access to that can benefit you now. Your counselor may even help you find new solutions to problems that have contributed to your stress. Stress management is a whole body approach. At Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, Texas, our counselors will help you develop strategies to address each of these areas: relieving tension from the body, gaining clarity in your thinking, and releasing emotional pressure. The bottom line is, we can control how we respond to stress, which can significantly impact our physical and emotional health.
Stress Management Counseling Services Can Help You:
- Focus on areas in which you have control
- Learn coping strategies for stress
- Pinpoint causes of stress in your life
- Practice work stress management skills or even change jobs
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques
- Increase self-esteem
- Decrease perfectionism
- Learn to set boundaries with others
- Communicate assertively and say no when appropriate
- Practice greater self-care
- Create supportive relationships
- Clarify your values and make meaningful decisions
What Clients Are Saying
“Therapy has provided me with a “safe and honest” realm – a safe place where I can reveal myself deeply and honestly. This is not easy for at times, but it is something that I am gradually incorporating into my daily life. Therapy is a treasure box of healthy living. I highly recommend it.” anxiety and stress management
“Working with Rachel increased my confidence, helped me to see myself in a new way, not as defective but rather as very different in and thinking and collaborative style compared to the management, the office culture, and coworkers. Rachel provided a lot of insightful comments and informative reading materials to help me understand myself better.” -work stress
“Rachel has helped me to organize my thoughts and feelings, as well as making helpful suggestions for resources that could help me grow. I am better at enforcing boundaries at the office. I am better able to accept “good enough” rather than working myself to exhaustion, at work and at home.” -work stress