Stress is often defined as the body’s physical, emotional and mental response to the demands of life. However, for many the life stressors may become overwhelming or it may be difficult to manage, reduce or cope with the stressors. High levels of stress can be due to the anticipation of an event or a current event. High levels of stress can come work stress, family concerns, illness, financial concerns, and relationship distress.
Stress effects all aspects of a person. Stress can cause symptoms such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, neck and back discomfort, fatigue, and reproductive concerns, headaches, and digestive concerns, decrease in sexual intimacy, irritably, anxiety and depression.
When someone perceives or experiences a stressful environment or situation their heat rate elevates, blood flow increases, increase heart rate, blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and other health conditions.
All stress does not come from negative or harmful circumstances, even a positive experience such as a wedding, vacation, job promotion or pregnancy can cause stress.
Working with a therapist is space to address the concerns related to and caused by stress. A client can learn and practice skills to review, prioritize, reduce and learn and develop coping skills. These skills may involve reviewing and planning the implementation of relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, self-care activities, forms of exercises, expressing stress through art or journaling, meditation, or guided visualization. Therapy may include reality testing of negative or catastrophic thinking, inventory of positive things in one’s life, talking through the past stressors and inventorying their influence on the reactions to current areas of stress.