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General Life Stressors/Challenges in Northern New Jersey

Everyone faces stress at some point or another. Those residing in Totowa, Little Falls Township, Woodland Park and the surrounding areas in New Jersey can find help dealing with stress by visiting Psycho-Educational Associates.

What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s natural response to any physical or emotional strain. When the body’s equilibrium is disturbed, it responds by flooding the body with hormones like adrenaline. This is known as the “fight-or-flight” mechanism because it prepares you to either spring into action or run from the stressor.

Stress is not always harmful. Good stress actually allows you to stay alert and focused. It can also help you in challenging situations, such as meeting a strict deadline. Bad stress is typically chronic and can cause damage to your overall well-being if left unchecked.

How Much Stress is too Much?

Most people do not realize they are under stress until it has already become overwhelming. High levels of stress can hurt your mental and emotional health, and may even cause issues in your relationships. Chronic stress can also manifest itself in a myriad of health issues such as physical pain, fatigue, skin rashes, digestive issues, sleep problems, depression, heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune disorders.

Everyone’s stress tolerance level varies, so be mindful of any negative health changes you experience. Additionally, it is important to recognize the causes of stress. If you are able to identify the causes, you can begin to find ways to manage your stress successfully.

Common Causes of Stress

Causes of stress can be broken down into four main categories: general, life, work and internal.

  • General Stress- General stressors include fear and uncertainty. Fear, whether real or perceived, triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response. Uncertainty also produces stress.
  • Life Stress- Life stressors can be as trivial as burning a meal to as serious as the death of a family member. Common stressors include marriage/divorce, relocation, having a child, financial troubles, changing jobs, or pursuing a degree.
  • Work Stress-Some common work stressors include an increase or change in workload, difficult coworkers, long/extended hours, big projects, or changes in management.
  • Internal Stress-Some examples of internal stressors include: over-analyzing a trivial interaction, micromanaging your home or work life, setting unrealistic expectations on yourself and those around you, or engaging in negative self-talk.

Effective Ways to Cope With Your Stress

By first identifying the sources of stress and then identifying healthy ways to deal with them, you can control your stress. Find something that works for you and make it a part of your regular schedule. By doing so, you will be on the road to a happier, healthier, low-stress life.

  • Identifying the source(s) of your stress is the first step to reducing it. This part requires some trial and error to see results. Start by keeping track of stressful situations. Jot them down and look for patterns. Is there a recurring situation that causes stress? Noting your stressful situations for a few weeks will give you lots of valuable insights.
  • For the situations you cannot change, exercise is a great coping mechanism. Exercise releases hormones that will help boost your mood. Even gentle exercise like tai chi and yoga can help alleviate stress. The breathing techniques learned in these disciplines are especially calming during stressful situations.
  • Talk it out! Sometimes, you just need a sounding board. Verbalizing your stress can help the situation seem more manageable. In addition, the person you are talking to may be able to offer a fresh perspective or give insight you might not have otherwise gotten.

Don’t let stress get you down, when help is readily available. Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with help dealing with your stress, in addition to a variety of other services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!