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  • Stress Less

    National Stress Out Week is this month, and the timing is just right. The days are shorter, and holidays are here. Shorter days, changes in schedules, and an increase in demands, whether actual or perceived, create stress.
    The downside of stress is that too much stress over time can wear you down physically, mentally, and emotionally.
    The upside of stress is that some stress can be helpful. It creates energy and focus needed to accomplish tasks. And, the stress that’s not helpful can be reduced or managed.

    One of the first steps to managing stress is awareness. Observe when you feel stress. Be mindful of thoughts, actions, and circumstances that prompt feeling more emotionally anxious or even slightly frustrated. Stress is usually from some external source, like as request or perceived requirement from another person or a circumstance. The negative response to stress is often at least partically internal and may include emotions, thoughts, and even physical sensations. It can show up as anxiety, worry thoughts, sadness, frustration, physical sensations such as muscle tension, and even reduced immunity to illness.

    There are many ways to deal with unhelpful stress and its impact. I like to address stress considering three factors.  These include mindfulness, reducing unhelpful stress, and managing what can’t be reduced. This approach is grounded in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and lines up with several other proven therapeutic approaches.
    We are all different and respond differently to events and life circumstances. However, we all have some experience of helpful and unhelpful stress.
    If you would like to learn, practice, and enhance stress management skills, I would be pleased to talk with you.  You can contact me, Alice Deal, at [email protected] or by calling 706-425-8900 ext. 703