How Does Stress Affect Your Physical and Mental Health?
Research shows that Americans are among the most stressed people in the world. Stress levels also appear to be rising, with over half of adults reporting experiencing stress throughout the majority of their day. While stress is an inevitable part of life, excessive amounts can negatively impact your physical and emotional health.
Elevated stress is associated with a host of medical conditions including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Stress can also exacerbate symptoms associated with mental illness. It may lead to problems like burnout or compassion fatigue. Unaware of how to manage this stress, many people self-medicate their symptoms with unhealthy coping strategies like drinking alcohol, using mood-altering substances, or overeating.
When individuals are stressed for an extended amount of time, they tend to be more cynical and negative. It can be challenging to feel present in daily living or focus on gratitude. Overly stressed people also may mistakenly take out their emotions on others. This lashing out can increase tension and conflicts in interpersonal relationships.
What Causes Stress?
From balancing family obligations to work responsibilities to paying bills on time, most everyone feels busy. Many people feel overworked, and it may seem impossible to complete all the items on the to-do list. Stress develops from many triggers including relationships, life transitions, and self-esteem. It can also stem from belief systems related to perfectionism, fear of failure, and a conditional sense of personal value. Stress, in many ways, is part of the human experience. But, when untreated, it can lead to high levels of distress and serious declines in all areas of functioning.
How I Can Help You With Stress Management
It’s important to note that stress isn’t inherently bad. In some cases, stress keeps us motivated and resilient. That said, we must learn to find balance. Therapy can help you with stress management. We will identify the triggers that may cause you to feel anxious or overwhelmed. We will discuss how you perceive and react to stress as it arises. Finally, you will learn how to implement healthier coping skills, like relaxation and self-care, for managing your emotions.