Stress is a normal hormonal response to the demands of life. The impact of stress can be good in doses, but it involves emotions and the mind. Currently, according to the American Institute of Stress, stress is America’s leading health problem. Stress evolves into the form of a fight or flight response as a reaction to physical threats on one’s life. Also, stress can affect your body’s overall health, leading to physical symptoms. Chronic stress can contribute to mental health and physical health issues:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mental health
  • Chronic pain
  • Decreased enjoyment in social activities
  • Decreased intimacy
  • Decreased productivity and enjoyment at work
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration Heart attack and stroke
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Isolation
  • Migraine headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced or increased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol
  • Sexual dysfunction

When these issues become serious, treatment from a mental health professional may often be necessary. At Lifeworks, we offer a wide array of therapies for stress management. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of therapy for stress. CBT helps you establish techniques to change negative thought patterns. These techniques will help you positively work through stressful situations that arise on a daily basis.

The initial phase of CBT involves a thorough assessment of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in circumstances that influence the amount of stress that you experience.  Based on your life history, you will interpret events and respond to stressors in characteristic ways.  When a Lifeworks therapist will assess you, they will create a strategic plan to help better manage your stress.  This plan will involve approaches to modify stress-producing thoughts and improve coping capabilities.

Lifeworks’ therapists will give you advice on stress reduction tactics that can be used to manage stress at any time. The tactics for stress management will work best when they’re custom-made to your particular needs, issues, and resources.  During treatment, your therapist will work with you consistently to evaluate the effectiveness of these different interventions and make adjustments as needed.
Regardless of the time or place, stress affects the body, mind, and emotions. A few techniques we recommend to reduce immediate stress for the body are deep breathing, a hot bath, and exercise. For your mind, we recommend identifying, evaluating, and modifying thoughts that underlie stress. Another very important factor in managing stress is the display of emotions. Sometimes we feel that we need to hide the way we feel and be strong at times, however, this can create more stress.

Expressing emotions through crying, laughing, art, writing, talking, or engaging in enjoyable activities can be a healthy way to relieve your daily stressors. Additionally, the way that we interact with the world around us also plays a significant role in our experience of stress.  Our behavior helps shape our experience of stress and how others might respond to us.