Below is a variety of informative information that will help with understanding, treating, and dealing with stress on a daily basis.
Stress Impacts Our Lives
Stress is a natural part of life. Our lives are challenging and undeniably stressful. There are times when stress can seem too much or overwhelming. And there are other moments where it can serve as a motivator. Maybe you’re intent on achieving a goal at work. You want to impress your boss, and the stress you’re under pushes you to perform and do well. However, there are times when stress isn’t helpful and can have a severe effect on your wellbeing. It can negatively impact your health, relationships, career and family life. When we’re experiencing stressful feelings, we can take them out on our loved ones. But, we don’t have to engage in that behavior if we learn to manage our stress appropriately.
How Stress Affects Your Health
Our bodies are biologically wired to fight against stress. When we feel stressed out, the body wants to take action. You don’t have to do anything for it to happen, the nervous system takes over when stress comes on. During a stressful experience, your body reacts. It wants to defend you, so it jumps into action to do so. Your nervous system is ready to fight, releasing stress hormones like cortisol. Your mind and body go into the “fight or flight” stage, and you’re on guard. Your heart rate rises, and you may start to sweat from the hormonal release and your body being pushed to defend you against a potential threat. The body’s biological response to stress is to fight it. It wants to protect you. That’s why hormones are propelled into action and telling your body that something dangerous is happening. Your body and mind typically recover from short-term episodes of stress, however, if you’re exposed to long-term instances of stress you’ll start to see a decline in your health.
Long-Term Stress or Chronic Stress
Some stressful situations are temporary. Maybe you’re moving to a new house, or you just started a job. These are short-term stressors. Some things cause persistent long-term stress. When stress occurs over time, it can severely impact a person’s wellbeing. Chronic stress can lead to severe health issues such as heart disease, heart attack, ulcers, fertility issues or stomach problems. When your body is continuously releasing stress hormones, it’s put into overdrive. It doesn't have a chance to shut down and heal, which is bound to impact you over time negatively. When you’re consistently stressed out your body’s immune system is compromised, and you’re more prone to illness. That’s why it’s essential to get treatment for chronic stress. When you seek help for stressors in your life, you’re taking care of your body and mind.
Stress and the Mind-Body Connection
When you experience stress, it’s affecting both your mind and body. Maybe you’re always worrying about something bad happening to you or your family. Perhaps you’re obsessing about getting fired from your job. These are stressful thoughts to cope with on a regular basis. When your mind is preoccupied with worries, your body may suffer as well. You might find that your muscles are in pain, your back and neck may begin to hurt, or you could have numbness or tingling in your body. Stress can affect each in different ways. Regardless of how it impacts you, it’s crucial to seek help for stress so you can learn to manage it. The consequences of ignoring stress are more severe than confronting it. Your health matters and there are ways to get help including counseling.
Counseling Helps with Stress Levels
One of the best ways to manage stress is seeking the help of a licensed mental health professional. Seeing a therapist or counselor can help people cope with stress. In therapy, a person who is dealing with chronic stress can learn coping strategies, relaxation techniques, and how to minimize the severe effects of stress on the body and mind. An individual dealing with stress can talk out how chronic stress is impacting their family life and relationships. A counselor is trained to teach people ways to cope with stressors and show them how best to deal with the challenges life brings. Stress doesn’t have to break you. You can seek help from a mental health professional.
We hope that the information we've compiled related to stress will help you understand the causes, and how to cope with these feelings. Whether you’re managing a short-term stressful situation or you’re dealing with chronic stress, there’s hope. If you're interested in speaking with a licensed professional about stressful situations and emotions that you're dealing with, check out the BetterHelp database of professional online counselors who are ready to help you manage your stress.