Many Americans are so busy that their stress causes detrimental effects on their health, both physical and psychological. The psychological result of being too busy is anxiety, as well as mental and emotional stress. Physical effects of stress include insomnia, weight gain, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, and bowel disturbances. Often, patients can point to unhealthy behavioral patterns and expectations, both their own and those of others, that lead to feeling overwhelmed.
Even individuals who normally have good coping skills can find themselves in a situation in which these skills no longer work effectively to reduce their stress level. When this happens, we can help to teach new stress management strategies and coping skills.
We look at the overall health of an individual to determine how stress is being managed. We discuss diet, exercise, self-care, sleep, and relaxation strategies. Some common relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and engaging in meaningful activities. We also examine expectations to determine the effect of these on stress level. Finally, we teach a variety of stress management tools, and most patients report feeling a decreased level of stress within two to three sessions.