Most of us live stressful lives. We work fulltime and deal with deadlines, our machines break down and we get stuck in traffic, and we may have difficult people in our work environment. Some of us have relationships or families and children or pets on top of that. Some of us are in school, or in religious or Spiritual commitments. Then we attempt to add in recreation and hobbies. Even vacations and fun can be stressful when we're racing against the clock.
If we add in those unexpected events that occur such as car trouble, or situations that result in our loss and grief, it's a wonder many of us ever even get out of bed and that the rest of us haven't died from heart attacks. Stress definitely contributes to higher rates of mental and physical illness.
The first task in learning stress management is to take responsibility for the stress that we have. Often it seems that stress is something that happens outside of us. In reality, stress is something we have as a result of our reactions to the events that happen outside of us. Other people in our lives, situations in our lives, and the things that seem to cause us stress are all experienced differently by each of us.
If the outside events caused the problems, then we would all react the same way to the same events. People who seem to roll with the changes easily often have more developed skills in stress management. Other times, people may appear to be moving through stress easily when in reality they have developed maladaptive coping tools such as addictions and they look good on the outside but are a mess on the inside.
Stress management involves learning personalized techniques that work to reduce the degree of stress we feel on a daily basis. What works for one person may not be helpful for another. Often we can't change the outside events in our daily living so we have to learn ways that we can manage our reactions to those outside events. We may need to change our thinking, our attitudes, or our physiological responses.
Perhaps we can utilize strategies of rearranging different environmental stimuli to decrease our overall stress. For some people, just getting organized is helpful. For others, making an intentional mess might be the thing that eases the tension. Changing what we experience on a sensory level can have a dramatic effect on the way we feel about a place or situation.
For instance, a picture in our office that we really like can help us enjoy being there better. And likewise, getting rid of one we don't like can make a big difference as well. Changing the sounds we hear, the smells, the texture of things, and even the taste of things can also be beneficial.
At Veritas Counseling Center, clients are taught stress management skills that address all levels including cognitive, emotional, physiological, environmental, social, and Spiritual as appropriate.
Through the use of cognitive therapy techniques combined with relaxation and guided imagery techniques, clients can learn increased stress management techniques that they are able to apply in their daily lives. Individual skill building is available in office sessions and occasional stress management Seminars are offered for groups at various locations.
The therapist at Veritas Counseling Center is also an author and offers free stress management tips with new suggestions being posted monthly. For this month's tips, visit www.calmingmeditations.com
As mentioned above, the therapist occasionally offers stress management Seminars to organizations and the general public. You can sign up to get notice of upcoming events.
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Veritas Counseling Center, LLC • 3240 E Union Hills Drive, Suite 123 • Phoenix, Arizona 85050