Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wellness Wednesday: Managing Stress

Understanding the types and sources of stress, short term and long term, internal and external, are an important part of stress management. Stress is our body's reaction to the demands of the world and stressors are events or conditions in our surroundings that may trigger the stress.

Main Types of Stress:
Acute stress, known as the fight-or-flight response, is a quick and often an intense response. Acute stress will not likely cause a problem for a healthy person; however, severe acute stress can cause mental health problems such as post traumatic stress disorder or symptoms, such as tension headaches, stomach problems or even serious health issues, such as a heart attack.

Mild acute stress can actually be good for us, motivating and energizing us. The problem occurs when stressors pile up and don't resolve. This develops into chronic stress and can lead to chronic health problems. Effective stress management involves identifying and managing both acute and chronic stress.
Stress Management:
Effective stress management starts with identifying sources of stress and developing strategies to manage them. One way to do this is to make a list of situations, concerns or challenges that trigger your stress response.
  1. External Triggers:
  • environmental (we are experience that with world events today)
  • life changes (marriages, divorces, deaths)
  • unpredictable events (demotion at work, cut in pay)
  • social (relationships with family, co-workers, friends)
  • workplace (deadlines, emails, phones)
Strategies to manage external stressors include lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet, being physically active and getting enough sleep. Not all stress stems from things that happen to us. Often a stress response is self-induced. Those feelings and thoughts that pop into your head and cause you unrest.
    2. Internal Triggers:
  • fear
  • uncertainty
  • loss of controlled
  • belief
Fear, attitude and expectation are our lifetime companions. It may take some effort to make changes. Strategies to manage internal stressors include re-framing your thoughts and choosing a positive mindset, challenging negative thoughts, using relaxation techniques, and talking with a trusted friend or counselor.

Recognizing a problem is the first step toward solving it. By identifying and understanding the source of your stress, you are better able to manage it. Manage it, not eliminate it may be the only goal because stress is a fact of life.  

Patient Centered Care, PLLC provides psychiatric diagnostic evaluation and medication management.  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Tamatha Arms provides excellent, personalized care in a pleasant setting.  Call us  for help managing your life stressors.  

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