Decreasing Your Stress with the Help of Therapy: How?

You feel stress every day of your life.

It’s with you in the morning when you get out of bed. During the day it lies just underneath the surface, just waiting to rise up. Even unwinding in the evening can seem impossible.

Therapy, though, can help with decreasing your stress in life. But how can that be possible?

At most, you probably get one hour a week of therapy with the counselor in their office. How can that even be remotely effective in dealing with stress?

Here’s how you can decrease your stress with the help of therapy.

Talking to a Professional

First and foremost, it’s important to consider the value of talking to somebody about your stress. It’s such a simple act, yet talking is incredibly valuable when coping with constant tension. However, to be the most effective, it’s necessary to talk to the right person.

You’ve probably experienced this issue in your own life. When you were stressed you turned to a loved one—a parent or family member or a best friend. These are good resources when you need support. Yet, not everyone has the emotional tools or even maturity to listen effectively. Thus, your experience has been “hit-or-miss.”

With a therapist, on the other hand, you will have someone who is a professional listener. That’s their job—to build a relationship with you, to listen, and let you feel heard.

Identifying Stress Triggers

You know that you are constantly feeling stressed, but you might not know the reasons why. In therapy, you and the counselor will work together to identify the causes of stress.

For example, perhaps it stems from:

  • Issues at work
  • Problems at home
  • Financial problems
  • Your health
  • Facing big life changes
  • Burdens from your past

Sometimes you might have an idea what is causing the stress, but you haven’t yet made the connection between stress and how it affects you. Therapy can help you make identify and explore the link.

Learning Better Ways to Cope with Stress

Another way that therapy will help with decreasing stress is that it’s a chance to learn new and better ways to cope. But what can you possibly learn in a one-hour therapy session? It turns out, quite a lot!

For example:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness techniques
  • Perspective-building skills
  • Crisis management for stress

Think of your visit with the therapist less as a “visit” and more like “training.” That hour gives you an opportunity to hone in and focus on developing new skills that you can put into practice every day.

Receiving Specialized Stress Management Help

Some therapists provide specialized help, such as therapy dog services. Therapy dogs are comforting, attentive, and playful. They are specifically trained animals who know how to be calm when interacting with clients.

Even if you are not a dog person by inclination, you can still receive the benefit of interacting with a therapy dog.

Keep in mind too that studies have shown that key stress markers, such as cortisol levels and blood pressure, go down when you are interacting with an animal. If your therapist doesn’t provide therapy dog services, they might be able to refer you to a program that utilizes dogs or other support animals (such as equine therapy).

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone experiences stress to one degree or another. However, when stress begins to interfere with the quality of your life, then it’s time to get help.

Therapy is a great resource for getting things off your chest, learning new skills, and accessing tools that will really help. If you’re interested in learning how to better cope with your stress, please feel free to call / text us 256-686-9195.

AuthorJoshua Howell, MS, LPC, NCC, AADC, ICAADC, SAP, SAE

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