Reality is the leading cause of stress!
What is stress? What is coping? What is challenge? What is in your life that gets to you, strains you beyond the limits of smoothly going about the tasks of living?
A prime focus of my work is helping people become satisfied with the decisions they make. Coping with stress and/or meeting challenges more resourcefully are often involved.
Psychological stress, or more precisely, distress, is a state of strain in which available resources are overtaxed. Psychological stress is a state of psychological strain from external or internal sources, which imposes demands or adjustments upon the individuals that are judged by the person as excessive to available resources and threatening personal well-being, so that some breakdown of organized functioning occurs. It is often this breakdown in organized functioning that is the cluster of symptoms, for which people seek help. Coping is what we do to manage stress. Coping is all we do to manage specific external and/or internal demands and the conflicts between them that are appraised as taxing or exceeding resources.
Physical signs of stress include pale skin, dry mouth, cold hands and feet, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, anxiety attacks, aches and pains, feeling flushed, sweaty, overexcited or simply burned out. Sleep disturbances range from just simple insomnia to early morning waking, oversleeping, restlessness, tossing and turning, and having racing thoughts that do not go away upon awakening. Anxiety attacks are more serious distress and include intense fears or discomforts. The discomfort may include symptoms of palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, feeling like you are choking, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, feelings of unreality or perhaps being detached from oneself, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, numbness, chills, hot flashes and more.
There Are Many Emotional Signs of Stress
Errors and Mistakes. Stress causes tension and automatic reactions to falter. There can be memory loss, dropping things, even stumbling on stairs.
Indecisiveness. When one is highly distressed, attention and thinking can get overwhelmed.
High distress can also lead to depression, agitation or simply feeling frustrated and upset. Irritability and temper outbursts are a sign of people being under high stress. Misuse of drugs and alcohol is common.
Challenge is positive stimulation. It involves arousal just as does stress, but challenge rests on a positive rather than negative emotional tone. In challenge, we focus on gain as opposed to focusing on potential for harm and threat. Challenge involves judgments that the demands of the stressor situation can be met and overcome without overtaxing resources. Challenge may facilitate rather than impair cognitive and emotional coping.
Learned resourcefulness is a concept that describes the processes we use to control our behavior. Learned resourcefulness is the learned set of behaviors and skills by which a person self-regulates internal events, such as emotions, pain, and thoughts that hinder smooth performance. It is the entire stock of skills, techniques, beliefs and behavior devices we use to self-regulate internal responses that get in the way of smooth accomplishment of some ongoing behavior.
I help the people I see in my practice to develop resourceful coping, emphasizing striving for satisfaction in the decisions we make. When we falter in finding satisfaction, there is higher probability in our having negative responses to life stressors.