Life is full of stress. But we’re here to help you manage it.
Stress might feel like…
Carrying a heavy backpack. We all have some items to carry, but sometimes life shoves more and more items in. Family Stress. Life Transitions. Relationships. School. Work. Sports. Finances. Holidays. Disappointments Losses. Problems that seem unsolvable. Barriers, letdowns, and burdens to carry. Sometimes even the positive events bring heavy stress into our lives, like Weddings, Graduations, Moving, Having a Child, or Retiring. When it feels like we are carrying the weight of the world on our backs, life stops being fun. Managing stress is a fundamental skill that must be mastered in order to thrive through every stage of life. We want to help you understand your stress triggers, lighten your load, and develop a personalized plan for maintaining relief.
You deserve the time and space to strengthen your stress-management skills.
What is Stress?
Stress is an inherent and unavoidable part of life, and unfortunately it can have powerful effects on mental and physical health. Stress is a physiological response to perceived threats or danger, triggering the body’s fight-or-flight system as it releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. In short term situations, stress can help us react quickly to address a situation, but when stress becomes chronic, it can negatively impact our wellbeing and lead to feelings of burnout, fatigue, and exhaustion. Symptoms of chronic stress may include irritability, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating or remembering details, impaired relationships, or general feelings of anger, depression or anxiety. Managing stress requires an individualized approach tailored to the specific needs of each person to create healthy coping strategies that work for them.
Stress management is a challenge for many people due to the inability to effectively identify and regulate stress levels. Many people are overwhelmed by competing demands, such as the need to manage multiple things in their lives that are pulling them in different directions. For example, a college student may be overwhelmed trying to balance working a part-time job, going to classes, and keeping up with social relationships. New parents might be overwhelmed with stress trying to adjust to taking care of a baby while also managing their career lives. Someone with a chronic illness may struggle with stress due to the challenge of balancing their health needs with other aspects of their lives. Even positive experiences like getting married might cause a high amount of stress due to the need to plan everything and manage the expectations of everyone in the family. Additionally, social factors like COVID-19 and political instability can contribute to even more stress. Almost anything can cause stress for a person and it is no one’s place to judge or make assumptions on why a particular experience may be stressful for a person.
Stress is an individualized experience that manifests in different ways, making it difficult to anticipate and prepare for. Many people struggle with stress management because it can be difficult to identify the specific strategies that will help them overcome it. At River Oaks Psychology, we take the time to explore and process how stress is showing up in your life. We truly want to understand your personal journey in whatever season of life you are in. We understand that no two people are identical and even going through the same life event does not mean that your experiences will be the same. Your unique feelings and thoughts MATTER.
We treat all types of stress.
How can therapy help with Stress?
With the help of a trusted therapist, you can explore the sources of your stress and develop coping skills that will allow you to reclaim control and better manage stressful situations. Therapy provides a safe, judgment-free environment to talk, process emotions, and learn strategies to manage stress. Through this process, many people are able to gain insight, understanding, and control over their stress. For example, through cognitive-behavioral approaches, people are able to recognize harmful thought patterns and replace them with positive, healthy thoughts. Additionally, problem solving techniques such as learning how to create realistic goals and identify achievable objectives can be a great asset in reducing stress and feeling overwhelmed. Therapy also provides individuals with a safe environment where they can share their experiences and learn to listen to their inner voice without fear or judgment.
It’s also common for therapists to utilize mindfulness and acceptance-based strategies in therapy to help people manage stress. This involves helping people learn to accept and observe their internal experiences without judgment, allowing them to become more mindful and gain a sense of control over their emotions and reactions. This is particularly helpful for people struggling with chronic stress, as it helps them to connect deeply with the present moment in order to better handle complex emotions and anxieties.
Therapy can also provide clients with the necessary tools to implement a self-regulation plan. Often, stress leads to increased emotional unpredictability, making it hard to focus on productive tasks. Through self-regulation skills such as deep breathing and self-care activities, people can become better equipped for managing a variety of emotions. One, these tools can be used as preventative measures to recognize and address signs of stress before they have a chance to spiral out of control.
We truly want people to achieve their goals, chase their dreams, and feel empowered to live full, authentic lives. This is difficult when there is an overabundance of stress in your life. That’s why we are so dedicated to educating people about stress management and creating safe spaces in therapy for you to work on minimizing stress in your life. Chances are, stress will show up in your life one point or another. We want you to feel welcome to talk about it with us. Our goal is to assist you in feeling better so that you can get back to living your best life.
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