Heavy traffic congestion on the
Beltway, being late for an appointment or job interview, having to cope with prolonged problems with the Metro subway as daily commuter, sardine-car metro ride, parenting difficulties, child experiencing learning problems, or
an unexpected family illness can create intense stress and anxiety. Research continues to suggest that the top three stressors in the D.C. Metro area are the same as national concerns: work, money, and the economy.
Everyone experiences stress, it is a bodily response to a demand. Stress becomes problematic when a person perceives that they do not have the adequate resources to respond effectively to a demanding situation. Understanding this, being able to recognize potential stressors in your life, and developing ways to cope is essential to maintain cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being.
Stress cannot be eliminated, but we can learn how to manage it better. With practice, we can keep our stress at healthy levels that keep us alert and motivated to face challenges. If you ever feel that your stress is too overwhelming, remember that professional counseling may help.
Am I under stress?
There are several signs and symptoms of stress including the following:
- Physical: fatigue, headaches, nausea, chest pain, muscle spasms and numbing
- Mental: forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, inattention, poor problem solving
- Emotional: anxiety, depression, hopelessness, worry, anger
- Behavioral: isolation, diminished sexual drive, sleeping/eating less or more
Taking care of yourself is not a selfish act. If we are well, than it is easier to give freely to others around us. If we are depleted from worry, depression, or fatigue, we are less equipped to deal with everyday stressors for both our families and ourselves. Giving back to yourself will not only replenish your resources it also reminds us that we are worth it.
Coming to speak to someone confidentially and in private, can be a powerful and healing experience. Therapy can also alleviate both pain and suffering and add meaning and richness to life. Many people struggle to understand what therapy is truly like, until they begin the process.