Helpful Therapy Modalities For Addressing Stress
A method for changing behaviors in order to better cope with stress.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
This process centers around changing the way you think about stress.
A way to practice healthy responses to things you would typically avoid.
If your chronic stress is related to a situation that others also deal with, group therapy can help you feel connected to others and reduce stress.
A practice of identifying thought patterns that might be contributing to a harmful stress response.
As always, it is important to be open to different treatment plans when working with a counselor you trust. It can be discouraging when something doesnt work right away, but you have to remember that your chronic stress didnt develop overnight, and neither will the solutions.
Flex Your Funny Muscle
Not only does a good belly laugh relieve tension in your muscles, it also relieves stress.
A 2003 study found that laughing at funny videos stimulates a reduction in cortisol as well as adrenaline, another hormone that makes us feel stressed and anxious.
If tackling stress is as simple as laughing more, then sign us up!
READ > > 6 health benefits of laughter
Be Aware Of The Bigger Picture
Stress is often a legitimate response to difficult circumstances, that no amount of resilience or self-care can overcome, Boyd says. Much prolonged stress is a product of poverty, financial struggle and health conditions and exacerbated by cuts to benefits and support services. So any discussion of ways to cope must acknowledge that the solution lies in structural societal change, such as welfare reform, more protective labour laws and more support and resources for caregivers.
Middle-aged women, in particular, shoulder the burden, often working full-time while also caring for young children and elderly parents. Its unfair to put all of the responsibility for staying healthy on the individual, says Zamperoni. At the same time, that social change is often slow so people do need resources they can draw on in the meantime.
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Manage Your Internal Entrapment
You might not be able to escape or change your situation, but you can manage the feeling of being trapped by it. Internal entrapment is the tunnel vision that comes from repetitive negative and self-critical thinking, warping perception and worsening our experience of stress. What sometimes appears to be the stressor isnt, says Gilbert.
We may even be undermining ourselves with self-talk: What are you trapped with in your own mind? Do you live in your mind as a compassionate, supportive, empathic, validating self? Or when you experience threat, do you start to criticise yourself and put yourself down?
Whatever your situation, treating yourself with compassion will support you. Gilbert suggests taking whatever breaks possible from your stressors, doing breathing exercises and practising acceptance. If you tell yourself you cant cope, it just adds to your stress, rather than saying: OK, this is a difficult situation, its not my fault, Im going to find a way through.
Understanding the bodily processes at play can also help to put stress into context, Gilbert says. Its not something wrong with your decision making, or that youre just not up to it.
Make Time For Leisure Activities
Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.
But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, youll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.
Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.
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Chronic Stress: Symptoms And Treatment
May 27, 2021
Priyanka, M.D., Medical Director at Mindpath Health, formerly Community Psychiatry, explains chronic stress and provides some relaxation techniques.
From traffic jams to a health scare to major work deadlines, life brings plenty of stressful moments. Some degree of stress is normal, but if feelings of being overwhelmed persist and affect your mental, emotional or physical health, you may be dealing with a chronic case that requires thoughtful intervention.
Ignoring chronic stress can harm your physical and mental health, suppressing your immune system, raising your blood pressure and heightening feelings of anxiety. Heres how to recognize the signs of chronic stress and implement simple lifestyle changes to overcome stressful feelings.
Ways To Manage Chronic Stress
It is said that the best life is a balanced life. In most instances this advice has proven invaluable. Yet, finding the right balancebetween workand life is often more difficult in practice than theory. A simple way to think about balancing your life is through managing stress. Its why we refer to the worklife balance in terms of periods of workwhich is performance related and therefore often stressful, and periods in our life where we recharge with activities that reduce stress or are stress free.
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How To Better Cope With Stress In The Moment
Pay attention to these signs. It is important to recognize the physiological signs of stress and address these symptoms in the moment to alleviate the potential harmful effects, Dr. Sieka says.
The goal of stress management here is to acknowledge the feeling and then dial down those physiological changes and approach the challenge rationally with your mind , explains Melissa Dowd, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the San Franciscobased therapy lead at PlushCare, a virtual health platform.
If your reaction to stress sticks around even after the trigger is gone , short-term stress can become chronic, Dowd says.
Stress that is not handled well and continues without relief can lead to chronic stress and contribute to physical concerns, such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and high blood pressure, and mental health problems, such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and substance use, Sieka says.
Dowd says some people are more prone to chronic stress. This can be due to genetics, life experiences, and unhealthy coping mechanisms, she says.
Its good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help you de-escalate stressful situations quickly, such as squeezing a stress ball, distracting yourself with fidget spinners, cueing up a mindfulness app, and trying deep-breathing exercises.
When To Seek Help
If the state of your mental health is interfering with your daily life, its a good idea to reach out for help, says Dr. Stone.
If you find yourself experiencing the following symptoms, contact a mental health professional:
- Experiencing suicidal thoughts
- Turning to drugs and/or alcohol to cope
- Feeling overwhelmed
Speak to your healthcare provider for recommendations on finding a mental health therapist or psychologist. You may also call your insurance provider to inquire about in-network mental health services or use an online directory, such as the one provided by the American Psychological Association.
I think the time to call in a professional is always now, says Dr. Stone. We all can use professional help with our mental, emotional and relational health. We should normalize that as a given.
Click here for the full article and sources in Forbes.
Please note that, while we publish accurate information with professional input, no information in this blog is intended as a replacement for medical advice from licensed providers. To receive such advice please contact Mindpath Health at mindpath.com or call us at 855-501-1004, and we will connect you with a professional who can further assist you.
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Set Constructive Worry Time
Raise your hand if youve ever laid in bed mulling over every anxiety from the day.
We are not good at coming up with insightful, creative solutions at 1 a.m. when our mind is racing and exhausted, Hendrickson says.
Cope with these intrusive thoughts by setting aside time each day to worry. At that time, write down everything that is concerning you, then go through the list to see if there is something you can or should do. This might mean making sure to do laundry before an upcoming event or it might be calling a friend because you arent sure how to cope with a situation.
This will not only help you work through specific problems, but it will also keep you from late-night or endless worrying. If you notice stressful thoughts creeping in throughout the day or late at night, remind yourself you have designated time to address these thoughts and that you will get to them then.
Surround Yourself With Support
Not only does asking for help lighten your load, it will make your situation feel more tolerable. Individuals biological response to stress is moderated by genetics, over which we have no control but also the availability of supportive relationships, which we do.
The feeling that other people care about us activates the brains soothing system for managing stress, says Gilbert. Even if its not possible for us to remove ourselves from the stressor, we can still access a sense of social safety by turning to people for help, rather than just trying to deal with the threat yourself, says Gilbert.
A 2018 systematic review of coping strategies in caregivers found that problem-focused responses steps to change the relationship between the person and their environment, such as those that reduce time and labour were associated with less psychological distress and more positive outcomes.
Even talking about your stress with a trusted friend will alleviate it. Its why, if youve got something a bit scary to do, such as going to hospital, having somebody come with you makes you more able to cope, says Gilbert.
Carers UK suggests joining a local support group to connect with people who are dealing with similar challenges. Its online forum also allows anonymous exchanges for those who feel uncomfortable about sharing publicly.
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Start A New Exercise Routine
When youâre stressed out, adding something new to your life might seem impossible. But thereâs a big case for exercise as a stress reducer. It makes your body produce endorphins , boosts your mood, and makes you concentrate on physical movement instead of on daily worries.
If hard-core cardio workouts arenât your thing, yoga and tai chi — any kind of exercise, really — will have the same effect. Just make it a regular part of your routine instead of a once-in-a-while thing. If you make a real commitment to getting your body in shape, your mind will follow.
A Q& a With James Doty Md
It has to do with threat perception and your innate stress response.
Your baseline is your rest-and-digest mode, governed by the parasympathetic nervous system. When youre in that mode, youre relaxed, youre calm, and your digestive system is working. And the area of your brain associated with executive control, discernment, and thoughtful decision-making works at its best. This mode facilitates a slow response and integrates experience and memory into your actions.
On the other hand, when an individual feels insecure or threatened, the sympathetic nervous system engages, and as a result, you shift into a threat response mode best known as fight-or-flight. This will result in an increase in heart rate, the shift of blood from the digestive system to skeletal muscles to allow you to run away, and dilation of the pupils. This is a fast mode. It is immediately reactive. Your decisions dont rely on past experiences or memories. You are just in survival mode. And therefore, when you feel threatened, you make judgments very quickly. In a survival situation, this is perfectly fine, and it works well. Yet oftentimes, especially in modern society, those snap judgments and decisions dont always work in our favor.
One of the problems in modern society is that people dont feel psychological safety. Its an issue of chronic disconnection from the people around us.
Thats what we need to cultivate in our communities: openness.
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Signs Its Time To Seek Help
Even with a good self-management plan, sometimes you may need more support. A mental health professional can be a great resource, but theyre particularly important to see more urgently if you have thoughts of self-harm or feel drawn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Seek help right away if you have suicidal thoughts. Call your healthcare provider or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK . Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.
Remember: Chronic stress is something many people experience, but it doesnt mean you have to slog through it, and certainly not alone. The sooner you get care and prioritize your own healing, the sooner you can feel more like yourself.
Effects On The Entire Body
Chronic stress can also wreak havoc on the digestive system. For instance, it can cause colitis or worsen inflammatory bowel disease. This is because chronic stress disturbs the microbiome in the gut.
In addition to the above effects, chronic stress can also have an impact on the entire body, including your nervous system, muscles, immune system, and hormones.
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Improving Your Ability To Handle Stress
Get moving. Upping your activity level is one tactic you can employ right now to help relieve stress and start to feel better. Regular exercise can lift your mood and serve as a distraction from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress. Rhythmic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective, especially if you exercise mindfully .
Connect to others. The simple act of talking face-to-face with another human can trigger hormones that relieve stress when youre feeling agitated or insecure. Even just a brief exchange of kind words or a friendly look from another human being can help calm and soothe your nervous system. So, spend time with people who improve your mood and dont let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life. If you dont have any close relationships, or your relationships are the source of your stress, make it a priority to build stronger and more satisfying connections.
Engage your senses. Another fast way to relieve stress is by engaging one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. The key is to find the sensory input that works for you. Does listening to an uplifting song make you feel calm? Or smelling ground coffee? Or maybe petting an animal works quickly to make you feel centered? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment to find what works best for you.
Physiotherapy For Anxiety And Stress What You Need To Know
Many people look at the narrow definition of physiotherapy, and neglect to realize that its application can have a greater positive impact on people beyond physical mobility and function. If youve been reading our blog, then you know that the concept of physiotherapy as a means to combat stress first reared its head in an article about couples therapy, and was then addressed more recently in a piece about how the practice has many great benefits for teens, stress reduction included.Yes indeed, for years physiotherapy has been overlooked as an effective means to mitigate anxiety, but today, experts are finally coming around to find that it can be used to complement cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of stress management. Lets take a look at how.
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Relaxation Techniques And Therapies
Relaxation techniques and therapies are shown to effectively reduce muscle tension
- Respiratory effects of stress
- asthma attacks
- Rapid breathing
In other words Working with a Transformational life coach, psychologist, or another cognitive-behavioral strategist can help improve your life and get you on the right track to a beautiful and balanced life
For more detail please contact us
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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