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Stress Management


Stress Management


Treatment for stress varies depending on your or a loved one’s needs. Stress management takes into consideration what challenges are being faced.


A range of  techniques and therapies are directed at controlling a patient’s level of stress, including chronic stress, to improve mental health, overall health, and day-to-day functioning. 

Main Types of Stress


Stress is both a psychological and physiological response to an event or condition that the patient views as a threat. It affects our physical health and immune system, our metabolism, memory, and emotions. While in most cases we can maintain our wellness levels and recover from handling stress, acute and prolonged stressful situations can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues.


There are three main types of stress:


  • Acute stress

Your body’s reaction to a challenging situation, whether that’s an impending work deadline or avoiding a car accident. It is usually short in duration, with a return to “normal” levels of emotion occurring fairly quickly.


  • Episodic acute stress

This type of stress is recurring, whether it is because of deadlines and expectations at school or work, working conditions, or personal relationships. Regardless, due to the repeated episodes, you feel as if you don’t have time to return to a calmer state. This results in an accumulation of stressful situations and accumulated stress, as you move from one crisis situation to the next without any breathing room.


  • Chronic stress

This condition results from continued, long term stress, whether that is constant arguments with your significant other or a work or living situation that puts you at risk of bodily or emotional harm continuously. With the sensation that stress may be never ending, the patient may feel there is no way out of the situation or the emotion.

Symptoms are varied in intensity, but commonly include: 


  • Intrusive thoughts, including repeated memories that occur involuntarily; bad dreams; traumatic event flashbacks. The latter can feel as if you’re reliving or seeing the traumatic event right before your eyes.  such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. 


  • Avoidance issues, such as avoiding anything that reminds you of a traumatic event, including  people, activities, places, and objects as well as any situations that could be triggering for you. You may also try to avoid thinking about upsetting, traumatic memories, or resist speaking about them and talking about them.


  • Experiencing mood and cognitive alterations, such as being unable to recall aspects of the trauma, or experiencing negative thoughts and feelings and distorted, continuing beliefs about yourself or other people. You may also have distorted thoughts about a traumatic event, its cause, and consequences. Such thoughts can lead to blaming oneself or others incorrectly as well as fear, guilt, anger or shame. And, you may be less interested in activities that you enjoyed previously, or even be unable to feel positive, happy, or satisfied emotions.


  • Experiencing alterations in arousal and reactivity, ranging from irritability to anger, reckless or self-destructive behavior, or extreme caution and watchfulness. You may also find that you're easily startled or have issues with concentration or sleep.

How Stress is Treated


Treatment for stress can vary from relaxation and meditation to cognitive behavioral counseling. At times, medical intervention can be needed for physical problems if they are discovered. 


Regardless of the treatment followed, the outcome is almost always positive for those undergoing stress, once a plan is created to remove the stressor or to control the feelings of stress. Unmanaged or overwhelming stress can lead to anxiety and depression, substance abuse, the worsening of some medical conditions, or even self-harm. 


Seeking treatment early and becoming an active part of your care are both key to successful stress management and recovery.


Treatment protocols for stress management may include:


  • Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 

Using breathing and awareness techniques that incorporate meditation principles, mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and worry also increase awareness of how negative thoughts can impact the patient. The goal is to include a relaxed state and awareness, techniques that can improve relationships, create more resilience and improved focus, and manage mood disorders.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on examining and discussing negative, often mistaken thoughts. If untreated, these can lead to severe stress, as well as behavioral and mental health problems. CBT can greatly reduce symptoms of poor mental health. 


These techniques are safe and without side effects. Some patients will also  find the use of acupuncture or massage therapy to be effective in relieving stress-related disorders and preventing anxiety, sleeplessness, and cumulative stress.

Learn More About Stress Management


If you would like to know more about stress management, treatment for stress, and how we can help at San Antonio Authentic Counseling, please reach out to us today!

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