We all find ourselves thinking about and discussing with others our level of stress. We often use phrases such as “stressed out” “burned out” and “wore out”. We also discuss trying to handle the causes of our stress as well as trying to manage our ways of coping with stress in our lives. Additionally there are many emotional, cognitive and physical consequences of unmanaged stress.
- 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
- 75 to 90 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
- Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death–heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has declared stress a hazard of the workplace.
While difficult to manage, stress can also be exciting and motivating. Stress can push us to study harder, work better, improve our lives through changing jobs, relationships and even adding children to our families. However when the negative impact of stress begins to taint too much of our lives, counseling can help to decompress and develop stress management skills.
Stress management primarily involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT looks at the connection between our thoughts, feelings, physical reactions, and behaviors. By understanding these connections, a person can learn to better manage their stress. Counseling help identify coping skills for each of these different areas. Coping skills often include breathing exercises, observing and challenging our automatic thoughts, and identifying healthy reactions. While many helpful coping skills can be found by reading books or online articles, working with a counselor can help identify which skills work best for each individual as well as address underlying issues that may be contributing to a person’s overall stress.