Stress Counseling

What is stress?

Not all stress is bad. In the right amounts, stress can motivate you to work harder or perform better when you’re under pressure. But chronic stress can bring on medical issues, sometimes as serious as an irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and even sudden death. Therefore, it’s important to keep your stress levels low.

How do I know whether stress is a problem for me?

Stress can turn into a problem when you feel the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Headaches
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Muscle tension or aches
  • Irritability
  • Gastrointestinal issues
stress counseling

Many people cope with stress in healthful ways, such as engaging in cardio exercise or meditating, but some turn to more harmful behaviors, like alcohol or drug abuse, overeating or not eating at all, and failing to keep up with social activities.

If you find yourself with some or all of these symptoms, it’s time to turn to professional counseling to learn better coping mechanisms and find support.

What causes stress?

When your body feels threatened, it releases stress hormones like cortisol into your bloodstream, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels. This is called being in “fight or flight” mode.

When the threat goes away, your body should return to a normal, relaxed state. However, when you face stress on a regular basis, your fight or flight response may not shut off. When work, social activities, and even family responsibilities pile up, those factors can all amount to chronic stress.

How can I lower my amount of stress?

Seeing a psychotherapist like Joshua Howell at Luminous Counseling & Consulting can help you talk out your problems and boost support from a nonjudgmental, professional ear. You can also learn supplementary ways to lower the amount of stress in your life:

  • Cut back on caffeine and get restful sleep nightly.
  • Set limits and scale back on nonessential commitments.
  • Set aside time for yourself to relax in pleasurable ways, whether you enjoy reading books or taking baths.
  • Build up your support network of family members or friends, as they can offer perspective or a helping hand.
  • Invest time in a yoga or tai chi program or a mindfulness meditation practice.

When you come in for a consultation with licensed professional counselor Joshua Howell and the team, they will work with you on the best practices you can incorporate into your lifestyle to manage stress. Call (256) 686-9195 or make an appointment online today.