Dr. Parke is currently offering video therapy sessions

Therapy for Stress

 

stress puzzle
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash.com

The New, The Bad, and the Ugly

Where does one begin when writing about stress in the year 2021? As I write, the world has been turned upside down by the global pandemic, with shockwaves of ramifications across sectors of society. People are experiencing stress in ways that are unfortunately familiar to them and unfortunately unfamiliar to them as well.

 

The Roots and the Fruits

Whether the stress is stemming from school, work, family, relationships, societal systems, a combination thereof, or another source, the toll can be a costly one—especially for ongoing “chronic” stress, which can exact a toll on our mental health as well as our physical health. If chronic stress is a “root” in your life, the “fruits” of that can manifest at various different levels.

Some emotional/social signs include anxiety, worry, panic attacks, depression, or withdrawal. Some physical/behavioral signs include upset stomach or digestive issues, sleeping problems, aches and pains, tiredness or exhaustion, or changes in appetite. Some intellectual or cognitive signs of stress include having difficulty concentrating, remembering, finding words or numbers, or being creative. 

 

How Can Therapy Help?

Well, realistically, therapy is never a magic pill that will make stress disappear overnight. However, some people find that having a safe and consistent space to vent or “get it off their chest” is helpful in and of itself. Here are some additional pieces that I sometimes help stressed people with in therapy:

  •  developing your feelings vocabulary to increase recognition of emotional states
  •  helping you make coping choices and self-regulate in response to your emotional states
  •  helping you protect time for rest and relaxation that is restorative
  •  teaching you how to respond to the stress signals of your body, emotions, and thinking patterns
  •  developing your toolbox of habits that promote your nervous system’s ability to calm down
  •  collaboratively re-evaluating what’s “on your plate”—whether it be homework, work work, housework, or relationship roles—to make new decisions about when to say yes and no
  •  examining and modifying thinking patterns, beliefs, and values
  •  stewarding time through the use of time blocking on a calendar, prioritizing a to-do list, or other organizational systems

Everyone’s different, their stress is different, and their experiences of stressors are different. Some level of stress will always be present in our lives as humans, but it’s how we respond to it that can make a key difference. Therapy can help you arrive at your own personalized approach to taking a deep breath, having more peace, and gaining clarity.

 

Some Next Steps

  • Check out my blog to learn more about stress-related topics
  • Contact me to inquire about therapy for stress

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