Thanks for checking out our blog! Each week out Raleigh therapists provide insights into challenges that they commonly help our clients to overcome with CBT Therapy strategies. This week the topic is “Stress”.
We all experience stress in our lives. Look around and you’ll see more than enough evidence (a global pandemic, police brutality and racism, soaring unemployment rates…just to name a few). But, what exactly is stress? Stress is physical arousal or a negative emotional state that results when we perceive events as taxing our resources or ability to cope. This state of arousal is a response to stressors, or an event that we perceive as harmful, threatening, or challenging. Sources of stress can range from conflict with a friend to life changes to dealing with a medical condition.
Research shows that the most commonly reported, highest stress life events include the death of a spouse, divorce, and marital separation. But stress can also result from good situations or changes, such as the birth of a child or moving in with a significant other or starting a new job. However, major life events or multiple stressors occurring at once is similar to placing a cup underneath a broken faucet. The cup can’t hold an endless supply of water. So, if stress is common and expected in our lives, how do we know if our cup is overflowing?
There’s a few warning signs that your stress cup might be overflowing, such as inability to concentrate, racing thoughts, headaches, nausea, moodiness, irritability, procrastination, using substances (like alcohol) to relax, or nervous habits (i.e., nail biting, pacing). If that faucet is never fixed, eventually you’ll have bigger issues than just an overflowing cup. Stress can negatively impact your immune functioning and cardiovascular system. Chronic stress can actually lead to poor health.
So what are your options? While you might not be able to control the stressors that life throws your way, you can change how you perceive these stressors and your ability to cope with the stress. CBT therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy, can help you identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that are very common with chronic stress. We can’t control every situation in life, but we can manage how we react and cope. CBT therapy is an effective way to build coping skills and resiliency, changing how you handle stress. So, instead of continuing to let your cup overflow, let us help you fix the faucet.
If you are struggling to get out of your own head maybe it’s time to meet with one of our Raleigh therapists for help.