From the occasional stressful workday to family stress every day, the signs of stress happen in all of us. Depending on the level of stress you experience, counseling services in Florida can mitigate your responses.
What Does it Mean to Be Stressed?
Humans perceive and handle stress in their cerebral cortex. This part of the brain’s system helps people adapt to their environments. Experiencing physical and emotional distress creates a memory to help us avoid a similar situation in the future. Stress is both a physical and mental response to unpleasant stimuli. When under stress, the body believes it is under attack and releases a mix of hormones and chemicals (like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine) to help prepare the body for the physical act of fighting or fleeing.
These chemical changes cause a number of physical reactions, including increased heart rate, pumping blood to muscles, and shutting down the systems that won’t help us fight or flee (like the digestive system).
What Is a Fight Response to Stress?
Signs of stress can result in a fight or flight response. When early humans encountered stress, one of the ways they survived was to fight (literally). When the body and mind enter a state of stress, it can cause some people to act in an aggressive way. While this strategy might help you survive a shark attack, it can cause problems in social and work situations.
If you tend to feel aggressive in response to stress, realizing this tendency is the first step. The best therapist in Palm Beach Gardens can help you develop alternative coping mechanisms when dealing with stress.
What Is a Flight Response to Stress?
Taking a flight response to stress involves avoiding the stressor. This can be life-saving in a dangerous situation; however, constantly avoiding all forms of stress is stressful in itself. Avoiding certain kinds of stress can be extremely beneficial in everyday life. Getting pulled over for speeding is stressful, so people are more likely to avoid that stressor by following the speed limit. Waiting until the last minute to finish an assignment can cause stress, leading people to complete their assignments early.
Taking a flight response to stress can cause health problems. For example, avoiding the dentist because dental appointments stress you out will only increase the amount of time you’ll need to spend at the dentist.
Some people find it challenging to regulate their mind and body when they experience stress. This can be the result of genetic factors, learned behavior, and life experiences. A person experiencing high levels of stress has trouble thinking clearly because blood flows to the muscles instead of the brain. This can lead to clouded or disoriented thinking. Stress for extended periods of time can be extremely detrimental to our health, resulting in high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction.
Occasional Stress is Part of Life
Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid stress, and that’s okay; stress is part of life. A human brain with no sources of stress will invent its own or become stressed by boredom. Learning how to communicate when you are stressed (instead of avoiding it or arguing with people) is such an important skill in the workplace and at home; effective communication increases trust amongst colleagues and family members. It can help people understand your needs. Take the steps you need to take in order to avoid unnecessary stress, but try not to worry about the things you can’t control.
Here’s a strategy for dealing with mild stress that doesn’t require a therapist:
- Think about something that stresses you out.
- Watch a documentary about how people deal with this problem in the developing world.
This is not meant to downplay the effects of stress (certain mental health problems make it almost impossible to deal with stress without a professional). Acute stress disorder treatment in Palm Beach Gardens can offer in-depth, personalized strategies based on your experiences, needs, and signs of stress.