what is Stress?
Feeling stressed? We often use the term “stress” in our culture, but what exactly IS stress? While sometimes difficult to explain, we all know how it feels.
You lie down for bed, completely exhausted from the day, and while you want nothing more than to go to sleep, your mind begins to race, thinking about that day, beginning to think about tomorrow and what you need to do, analyzing what you could have done better today and what you need to do better tomorrow. You begin to anticipate another stressful day. And all the while the clock keeps ticking towards tomorrow morning. You finally fall to sleep, but you wake periodically during the middle of the night, checking the clock frantically, hoping that it’s not time to get up, hoping for more time to sleep, and becoming more anxious about how tired you already are.
You get up for the morning, rushing through your morning routine, perhaps barely attending to your spouse or kids, just doing what “needs to get done” before rushing out the door for work. The rest of the day follows as such. The drive to work becomes more aggravating, co-workers become obstacles to “getting things done”, and you are always anticipating criticism from the boss. You are becoming resentful of others, as you feel like “I have to do everything” to be successful.
As the afternoon arrives, you begin to think about how you are going to “get through the rest of the day” and begin to think about your after-work responsibilities, picking up children for activities, cooking dinner, or whatever it may be. You may like to workout, but “these days” it just does not fit into your schedule. A couple of “adult beverages” is much more appealing. You begin to feel overwhelmed almost daily. You make it through and now all you want to do is go to sleep. You lie down for bed, completely exhausted from the day, and it starts all over again.
Do any of these stress symptoms describe you?
You are having trouble with sleep
You notice changes in your eating habits
You are less interested in hobbies
You have more difficulty motivating yourself
You feel more fatigued than usual
You feel bad about yourself
You find yourself crying more often
You begin to avoid being around people
You sometimes feel hopeless or worthless
You are more irritable
You feel “on edge” most of the time
Your mind “races”
You anticipate bad things happening
You have become more resentful of others
You don’t feel well physically
You find yourself engaging in more risky or self-destructive behaviors, such as using alcohol or drugs
So what is stress, and what does this mean? The term “stress” has been defined as “physical, mental or emotional strain or tension” caused by “perceived demands and expectations that exceed” one’s abilities or resources available at a given time.
The feelings can often stem from our pre-occupied thoughts about things that we should have done better in the past and holding on to negative feelings from the past, as well as frustration due to our propensity to plan the future, anticipating negative events, barriers or criticism, and trying to control events that we have little control over. As a result, we can begin to develop negative self-talk and feelings that can have a major impact on one’s health, well-being, social and familial relationships. Oftentimes, the experience of these symptoms over time can lead you to live a life that is inconsistent with your values, life-goals and social expectations.
When treating stress at Catalyss Counseling, we focus on the specific symptoms that you may be experiencing and work with you to identify ways in which you can make small changes that will leave you more satisfied with your life. We work with you to develop techniques to cope with stress while also working on the underlying concerns, in an effort to address the source of your distress, rather than only treating the symptoms. While coping with stress can be effective in managing daily barriers, making incremental changes that will remove the sources of stress or shifting how we define the role of stress in our lives can lead to a more satisfying life long-term. We work with you to identify your values and goals, and to address those barriers in your life that prevent you from living your best life.
Did you know that 48% of American report that they experience stress that negatively impacts their personal or professional lives, and 33% report that they feel they are living with extreme stress? The leading causes of stress include work pressures, financial issues, political concerns, relationships, overstimulation from the media, and violence or crime. Stress can have negative impacts on one’s psychological and physical health, with 77% of adults reporting physical complaints and 73% reporting psychological symptoms.
Stress can be categorized in several ways, and seems to present itself within a continuum that can vary from day to day. Below are some example of types of stress and how they impact our lives. While some changes in our lives are due to positive events, change in and of itself can lead to feelings of stress as well.
The fight or flight response. The body prepares to defend itself. It takes about 90 minutes for the metabolism to return to normal when the response is over.
The cost of daily living: jobs, relationships, bills, kids, etc. This is the stress we tend to ignore or push down. Left uncontrolled this stress affects your health, your body and your immune system.
Stress in daily life that has positive connotations such as:
Marriage, Promotion, Baby, Winning Money, New Friends, Moving, or Graduation.
Stress in daily life that has negative connotations such as:
Divorce, Punishment, Injury, Negative feelings, Financial Problems, or Work Difficulties.
While you may feel out of control with trying to manage your stress, therapy for stress management can help you regain your life back. You can feel better and get back to being yourself. You can enjoy the things that are important to you in your life, and make the most out of your work, relationships, and family once more. Stress is treatable. Therapy and stress management treatment at Catalyss Counseling can help you Conquer Your Stress.
stress management treatment at catalyss counseling
Treating stress first requires identification of the sources that are causing the negative thoughts and feelings, as well as how those symptoms impact your daily life. At Catalyss Counseling, our licensed therapists work from a holistic approach, working with you to identify the sources of stress, in all domains of your life, including health and wellness, family, social, work and spiritual. While we are working to identify the underlying factors, our counselors will also be working with you to develop techniques that will assist you in managing and coping with your feelings of stress. By offering immediate tools to relieve your daily stress and work towards a more healthy and satisfying lifestyle, we can better work towards identifying deeper issues that can be addressed over time, through incremental changes that will help you live a life more consistent with your personal values and needs. We believe that the ultimate goal in therapy is to treat the underlying source of stress, so that you may live more long-lasting, satisfying life.
Many people experiencing stress may also have a co-occurring medical issue, alcohol or drug abuse/addiction, depression, or anxiety at the same time. Because it is difficult to treat these issues separately, at Catalyss Counseling we specialize in treating the whole person at one time. We coordinate closely with other medical professionals in the community and work together as a treatment team. We use only evidence-based treatments to assess your symptoms, identify the impact they are having on your life, give you coping skills to manage your stress, and guide you in changing your life. This results in better social and family relationships, less work-related stress, and more self-care. The process of therapy can be difficult at times, but we strive to make it as easy on you as possible by connecting with you and identifying your needs, wants and goals to make lasting change in your life. We empower you to make the changes in your life that you want to see. Through therapy for stress management at Catalyss Counseling, you will Conquer Your Stress.
does therapy work?
Therapy and lasting change take time and commitment. While therapy isn’t often easy, you get out of it what you put in. If you come in with honesty, trust in the process, and a willingness to change, you can expect to see lasting results.
Therapy for stress managment with Catalyss Counseling can help you Conquer Your Stress. Our therapists specialize in treating stress and work-related stress using a variety of evidence-based perspectives. If you’d like to talk to someone more about how we treat stress, contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation, or you can book directly online with the therapist of your choice.