What Is Stress?

Stress, what exactly is stress? We all know what it feels like, but is stress an emotion? The answer is no. Stress is a combination of emotions, common emotions include fear, worry, anxiety, dread and anger. Whatever the particular cocktail of emotions your stress include they all carry the same message, you're in the midst of something overwhelming or about to face a task or situation that is greater than your current resources or abilities.  

Stress in small doses helps prepare us for tasks, situations and events. Studying for the big test, preparing for an important meeting, having that tough conversation with a family member. 

Ongoing stress and habitual stress starts to create havoc on the body, rather than helping you to prepare for an event you begin to crumble and waste away from the inside out.  

The first step towards dealing with stress is to stop labeling it as stress, find out the emotions that are included in your stress cocktail. Your emotions are a road map to your thoughts, once you've identified your emotions you can start identifying helpful and unhelpful thoughts. Encourage helpful thoughts and challenge unhelpful ones.  

If you're flooded by your emotions, you may need to practice some relaxation techniques before your able to do thought work.  

One of the most powerful relaxation techniques is controlling your breathing. A simple breathing practice involves slowing your breathing by extending your exhalation longer than your inhalation. Vary your breathing times based on your health and what works for you individually. A good place to start is a 4-4-6-2 Breath in 1...2...3....4 Hold 1...2...3....4 Exhale 1...2...3....4....5....6 Hold 1...2 repeat 

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About Me: I'm a Christian counselor in Vancouver, WA. I specialize in treating male teens and men's counseling. Please contact me with any questions about my blog, counseling or to set up an appointment.

All information and opinions shared on this blog are for educational purposes only. Please contact me or another mental health care provider for diagnosis and treatment. 

Therapy | Vancouver, WA