What is stress?
At some point in our lives we have all had some experience with the stress of life becoming too much to handle. The hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands of daily life are so common that managing them has become a way of life. We define stress as a normal physical response to experiences that make you feel threatened or upset your sense of balance. In many ways, stress can be good for us. It is the body’s way of protecting us in
order to stay focused, energetic, and alert. In small doses it can help us perform well under pressure or motivate us to meet challenges and complete tasks in the best way. Unfortunately, too much stress may cause our mindsand bodies to pay a hefty price. Beyond a healthy point, stress can begin to cause major damage to our moods, productivity, relationships, health, and quality of life.
How do I know if stress has become too much for me to handle?
Here at Proliance Center, we work with patients with all types of backgrounds, careers, families, and circumstances. Not only have we seen how stress can present itself in various ways, but we can also help you to pinpoint how it originated. We typically find that stress can be either self-generated or be caused by external factors. Self-generated causes might include characteristics or behaviors such as pessimism, unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, negative self-talk or lack of assertiveness. Common external factors that we have seen impact individuals and their level of stress might be career changes, relationship problems, financial difficulties, children and family pressures, lack of time or a simply being “over-booked.” Ideally, we are able to control our responses to stressful factors such as these and allow stress to work in our favor. In circumstances where stress becomes overwhelming, we may begin to recognize symptoms of stress as warning signs our bodies are giving us that changes are needed. Common signs that stress may have become detrimental can be both emotional and physical. Here are some examples:
- Physical Pain
- Chest Pain or High Blood Pressure
- Digestive Problems
- Sleep Disturbances
- Weight Gain
- Skin Conditions
- Memory Problems
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Poor Judgment
- Negative Outlook
- Anxious Thoughts
- Consistent Worry
- Substance Use
- Nervous Habits
Our clinicians feel it is important to listen to your body and your emotions when you’re under heightened degrees of stress as it is often the best predictor of crisis ahead. If you begin to see these, or other symptoms of stress, in your life and feel you are unable to manage them alone, it may be time to seek the help of an experienced professional to guide you through your journey to a more balanced life. At Proliance, we are here to listen to your story and help you to determine the best course of action for you in the most appropriate amount of time.
What does stress management and relaxation therapy entail?
Once you have made the decision seek help from a Proliance Center clinician, you can expect us to work together with you to tailor a treatment plan that is best suited for your needs and schedule. We often feel that a common first step is to teach you the most effective relaxation skills to employ during times of stress that can help you avoid feelings of panic throughout your day and help you to reduce stress and find a sense of calm and peace that will help you sleep better at night. These techniques range from short breathing exercises to in-depth lifestyle changes that can help you to keep your symptoms of stress from becoming debilitating.
We also find that once individuals have found a way to manage their daily symptoms of stress, they are ready to better organize their lives and responsibilities in a less overwhelming and more efficient way. We will help you to develop new skills that will increase your ability to effectively manage your time, organize your responsibilities, help you make decisions and increase your ability to solve problems. We are often amazed by the progress our patients can make with these structured approaches to stress management and relaxation and are always looking forward to helping new individuals find the balance they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.