Stress is a constant experience of life. Whether at the workplace or in one’s personal life, stress is unavoidable because change and pressure are unavoidable.
Stress is not always a negative. Anything that forces a change in our routine, even a vacation or a birthday party, causes stress on our psyches or bodies. Stress that is related to life events can actually be measured with questionnaires. A psychologist can administer a stress test to determine one’s risk factor. Very stressful events include the death of a spouse or other loved one, divorce or marital separation, incarceration, or pregnancy. Moderately severe stressors include things like losing one’s job, moving, taking on a mortgage, gaining a new family member, or losing a friend. More moderate stressors include events such as having a child leave home, in-law troubles, outstanding personal achievement, or starting college. Everyday stressors which are also very important may include a change in sleeping habits, a special holiday, family get-togethers, dieting or not getting along with coworkers.
It is important that we all learn how to recognize stress and develop healthful ways of dealing with it. Recognition of stress is directly related to our knowledge of stressors and our awareness of our own reactions. Stress can result in physical complaints such as aches, pains, insomnia, high blood pressure, or weight gain. Emotional reactions to stress are also very common. Many times worry, irritability, depression, moodiness, fear, or anxiety can be traced to chronic stress or an acute or severe stressor.
Counselors are able to help individuals identify stressors and recognize their reactions to stress. With that information, a counselor will help develop a plan for managing stress and cultivating a healthier lifestyle.
Therapists can teach a number of stress reducing practices such as meditation, relaxation training exercising, and biofeedback. In addition, the therapist can help the individual make a plan for exercises and maintaining a healthy diet. Other remedies include assertiveness training, time management, and obtaining medical treatment.
All of these methods are important additions to one’s daily routine. Effective stress management is a good way to prevent illness or keep a chronic medical condition from getting worse. Effective stress management can also improve social functioning and work performance. Improved stress management can also enhance emotional stability and promote healthy family relations.
It is not possible for anyone to avoid experiencing pressure. Change in life is inevitable and any life event requires our having a reaction to it. Effective stress management is an important life skill and is a common focus of personal counseling.
Psychological Consultants and Affiliates, Inc.
60 Messimer Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055
Phone 740-522-2230, 800-522-2457
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