We all feel stress sometimes. A busy day at work, an annoying interaction with your partner, a frustrating parenting moment, an unexplained traffic jam, a growing pile of bills. These are all common stressors. Having a little stress sometimes is not only okay, it’s totally normal! But there are other times when stress can become too much for one person. When you start to feel like you’re stressed out more than you’re not or that it’s leading to unhealthy behaviors, it’s time to get help and make some changes.
Sometimes stress starts to interfere with your life, including getting in the way of you thinking clearly at work or having a shorter fuse with friends and family. Often, these effects cause us to feel even more stressed out which in turn leads to more problems and the cycle goes on and on! The more stressed out we feel, the harder it gets to maintain our healthy habits and the easier it gets to engage in unhealthy habits. We tend to stop eating as many healthy foods and we decrease our physical activity. Some people increase their alcohol use or turn to other substances to help them cope. All these behaviors not only contribute to increased stress but also decrease your body’s ability to manage stress and increase your risk for other health complications.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is something I’ve discussed in previous blog posts and is an effective form of therapy for a wide range of things including stress management. CBT for stress helps you identify what your stress-provoking thoughts are and how to change them so they no longer cause or worsen stress and anxiety. Your therapist will also help you identify what your triggers are for feeling stressed out, how to manage them BEFORE they cause stress, and how to cope with the stress and anxiety when it does happen. You and your therapist will work together to help increase your healthy coping behaviors and decrease or eliminate the less healthy ones. Ultimately, after therapy you will feel significantly less stressed out and happier in your life.
If you’re feeling stressed out and have a hard time keeping it at bay, try seeking out therapy. Contact me to learn more!