Stress Therapy

Stress can be experienced in many different areas of our lives.  Work, finances, family, friends, parenting, school, travel, sex, and hundreds of other situations have the potential (and indeed likelihood) of contributing to the amount of stress experienced in one’s life.   Evolutionarily, the human stress response helped us to survive dangerous situations.  Today, our bodies are still wired with these reactions to actual or perceived threats, causing us to feel stress when the demands and challenges in our lives increase beyond our capacity to cope.

Symptoms of stress may present in the following ways:

  • Chest pain or rapid heartbeat

  • Digestive problems including constipation, diarrhea, or nausea

  • Racing thoughts or difficulty quieting the mind

  • Sleeping problems including insomnia or hypersomnia

  • Feelings of hopeless or depression

  • Inability to focus or poor judgement

  • Frequent sickness including colds, flues, and infections

  • Clenched jaws or grinding teeth

  • Low energy

  • Changes in appetite

  • A drop in sexual desire

  • Being easily agitated or frustrated

  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes

  • Lowered self-esteem

  • Procrastination and the avoidance of responsibilities

 

It is important to identify your own unique symptoms of stress, so that you are aware when you are approaching your limits.  Additional

questions that may be helpful to ask are:

  • “Is this stress related to a recent change in my life?”

  • “When did my symptoms develop? Before, during, or after a specific event?”

  • “Why do I see this situation as stressful or as a “danger”?”

  • “Is this problem a real or imagined threat?”

  • “What is within my control, and what is not?”

  • “If I stress and worry, will anything change?”

 

 

 

 

A mental health professional can work with you to cultivate a number of skills that you likely already possess.  These skills include:

  • Problem solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Communication

  • Time management

  • Conflict Resolution

  • and Decision Making

 

 

Although stress can feel overwhelming, especially if they occur

over prolonged periods of time, there are a number of things you can

do to help lower your stress.  In addition to speaking with a mental

health professional, deep breathing, meditation, visualization,

distraction, and exercise have all shown empirical results in helping

to reduce symptoms of stress.

© 2019 Trish Stephens, Psychotherapist - Ottawa, Canada