Do You Feel like You have too Much Stress in Your Life?
Everyone deals with stress in their life. Many people think they can or should get rid of stress. However, in reality even if you could do that you probably would not want to! Think of all the wonderful events in our life that can cause us stress. Things like a new job, a new relationship, a wedding, a work promotion, starting a new course of study, even a new child can all cause us stress to one degree or another, but most of us would not want to get rid of those joyous events in our lives.
The real key is to manage the amount of stress we have in our life and the ways we respond to it.
What is the Difference between Stress and Anxiety?
Stress and anxiety are related and cause similar physical reactions in the body but they are not the same thing, despite the fact that sometimes people use them interchangeably. Stress tends to be a response to a specific event or situation, such as demands at work or home. In the best scenario we deal with the stressful situation and our stress decreases. Some stressful situations are more chronic or the solution may even be beyond our control. In the case of this chronic stress it is even more important to find ways to manage your response to prevent suffering from stress related physical symptoms and illnesses such as muscle pain, headaches or migraines, increase in blood pressure etc.
Anxiety is not so much tied to a specific real event but can be caused by thinking about what might happen or can even come out of the blue with no identifiable cause. Anxiety can be mild or severe and debilitating, preventing you from doing the things you want or need to do.
Here is a link to an article in the Huffington Post that describes more about the difference between the two issues.
Help! My Stress and Anxiety are Out of Control! What do I do?
Luckily there are many things you can do to decrease and manage both your stress and your anxiety. In therapy sessions I will work with you to identify sources of stress and triggers for anxiety so that we can address them together and make a plan to address them so that you feel better. I find that teaching clients about mindfulness and meditation can be a very effective in reducing both stress and anxiety. I often lead clients in guided visualizations that they can use to quickly decrease symptoms in the moment.
You might be surprised at how some small changes can greatly decrease your symptoms and improve your life.