Stress

It is possible to recover from stress.What is stress?

Stress is a natural reaction to adverse events in life such as sitting in traffic, being late for an important meeting, losing a job, recovering from an illness, and missing the deadline on an important project. Stress is also necessary for growth and development. Think of the stress exerted on muscles during a workout which eventually results in stronger muscles.

Psychological stress is not so pleasant

Stress theory is a central theory of 20th Century psychology that focuses on the body’s response to stressors. When an individual is exposed to excessive demands from the environment and psychologically, a series of reactions ensue to bring the individual into balance. For example, digestion slows down, memory becomes foggy, illogical thinking patterns emerge and feelings of overwhelm ensue. These reactions are intended to achieve homeostasis and keep the effects of the stressor on the individual to a minimum.

Depending on the intensity, frequency, and duration of the stressor the effects may be acute or chronic. Left unmanaged, stress can have long-term effects on the immune system, and cognition, lead to anxiety and depression, affect inter-personal relationships, affect weight gain, and quality of sleep.

Coping strategies include the following:

  • Engaging in activities that produce positive emotions such as leisure activities,
    socializing with supportive friends and family
  • Developing a consistent sleep routine
  • Engaging in physical activity such as walking, virtual or in-person exercise classes
  • Adopting a hobby or reacquaint yourself with a forgotten hobby
  • Acknowledging that the stressor exists, denial is an avoidance strategy that can cause
    increased stress
  • Scheduling an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss strategies that may
    be helpful to you depending on your health (mental and physical) needs

Reach out today

Are you experiencing an overwhelming level of stress? Do you want to develop skills to control anxiety? Basanti Counseling offers effective treatment for anxiety, depressiontrauma, and more. In-person and online appointments are available in Ontario. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation.

Basanti Counseling, August 2023

Reference

Waugh, C. E., Shing, E. Z., & Furr, R. M. (2020). Not all disengagement coping strategies are created equal: positive distraction, but not avoidance, can be an adaptive coping strategy for chronic life stressors. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 33(5), 511–529. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2020.1755820