Stress is the reaction to a poke that jumbles a person’s physical and mental balance. It happens to everyone. How a person chooses to respond to stress is key. Learning healthy ways to handle stress is a must. It is important to know that not all stress is bad.
Stress on a short term small scale is acute stress. Stress in a small dose can be exciting. It can keep a person alert and ready to respond. This small amount of stress can jolt their system. Stress on this level can still cause some tension such as a headache or upset stomach. It does not last long and only has a little bit of time to affect a person.
Examples of acute stress:
- Bunge jumping
- Racing to a meeting
- Ski diving
- A deadline for completing a task
- Trying something new
- Doing a presentation
Unlike acute stress chronic stress is more persistent and long term. Unfortunately chronic stress is something some people become use to. It becomes a way of living. At times the person suffering from chronic stress no longer recognizes the symptoms of stress. This type of stress becomes natural and can be easily overlooked. Not being able to notice when they are stressed is the worst feature of chronic stress.
Examples of chronic stress:
- Long term stress can have destructive changes to a person’s health and their overall well-being.
- Family problems
- Long term unhealthy relationships (professional and personal)
- Racial, ethnicity concerns
- Past traumatic events
- Childhood events that have had long term affects
- Feelings of endless demands
Signs and Symptoms of stress
There are many symptoms of stress that people may feel at some point in life. Stress can affect how people think, feel, what they do and their body.
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Using alcohol, smoking to relax
- Skin picking, biting nails, pacing, foot tapping
- Neglecting responsibilities or procrastination
- Isolating from others
- Frequent worry
- Negative thinking
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of focus
- Difficulty remembering things
- Irritability and agitation
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Poor health, getting sick frequently
- Cold flue like symptoms
- Pains in chest
- Racing heart
- Dizziness and nausea
- Bowel troubles (diarrhea or constipation)
- Body aches and pains If a person is experiencing some or all of these symptoms they should consider speaking to a counselor or a doctor.
Causes of stress
Many situations and thoughts can trigger stress for a person. Often we find that holding onto the past and the uncertainty of the future increases a person’s level of stress. When a person experiences a change or expects a change this can spike stress levels. How a person perceives an event can increase stress. Becoming more aware of the types of thoughts, feelings and behaviors can impact a person’s response to stress. Situations happening around or inside of a person can have a major impact on a person’s stress level.
Things that are positive and healthy can also cause stress. Positive life events such as graduating, moving to a new city, receiving a promotion, the birth of a child or getting married.
Common external stressors from the environment
- To many task on their plate
- Children and family
- Managing finances
- Relationships (professional/ romantic)
Common internal stressors from the inside
- Frequent worry
- All or nothing thinking/attitude
- Unrealistic thinking
- Negative thinking
- Negative self-talk
Treatments for Stress
Treatment for stress can be helped from several areas. Counseling is one way to treat stress, this is where Flourishing Hope Counseling comes in. In some cases a combination of medication and counseling can be very helpful in supporting a person address stress and anxiety concerns.
- Speaking to a doctor
- Building healthy relationships with others
- Get some sleep
- Make healthy meal choices
At Flourishing Hope Counseling we treat stress through talk therapy. We work with you to gain insight and discover skills to make progress. We work with you to explore your thought processes, behaviors and feelings. Stress does not have to rule or run your life. We are here to help.
Flourishing Hope Counseling PLLC is a Kingsville, TX private practice.