September 06, 2020

Change is all around us and stress is the brain and body’s way of responding to it. Whether we interpret change as real or perceived, short or long-term, stress is the result.

Stress is not intended to be harmful.   In fact, it  does  serve  a  purpose.   Your body’s  stress response is meant to protect you from danger. It releases chemicals and hormones to aid the “fight or flight” response.   This quickens your pulse, increases your breathing rate, and tenses your muscles. Oxygen shoots toward your brain and your immune system is charged with a short boost.

While stress can be beneficial, our bodies aren’t event such as an unexpected job loss, death, illness,  or  divorce.  Lastly,  traumatic  stress follows a disastrous event like an accident, acts of war, assault, or a natural disaster.


While  we  don’t  always  have  control  over stressful events in our lives, we can manage how we react to them.  Resilience is the ability to adapt well over time in response to stressful events. How well do you “bounce back”?


Y N   Do you have access to supportive family and friend relationships?


Y N   Are you readily able to make a plan and stick to it? Can you problem solve?


Y N   Do  you  believe  in  yourself  and  your abilities?


Y N Can  you  identify  and  regulate  strong, emotional responses?


Y N Do you open up and communicate with your support network?


There  are  three  main  types  of  stress  we experience: routine, sudden event, and traumatic. Routine stress occurs with the regular changes in  our  work,  school,  or  family  environments. Another type of stress happens from a sudden and unexpected negative event such as loss of job or investment.  Chronic stress takes a toll, and over time prevents your body from returning to its normal functioning state.   As a result, people might experience high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or mental illnesses like depression or an anxiety disorder.


Practicing  the  following  healthy  habits  will help you develop resilience and cope with life’s stressors:

✓ Pay attention to your body and where you’re

feeling physical tension.

✓  Be mindful of your limits and learn to say no

once in a while.

✓  Clarify your values and prioritize tasks and

responsibilities accordingly.

✓ Focus on the positive and what you have


✓  Eat healthy foods, limit caffeine and alcohol,

get rest and exercise regularly.

✓  Relax your body and focus your thoughts

on whatever is uplifting for you.

✓ Schedule an appointment for a check-up

with your primary care provider.



Life is challenging and can be very stressful. You’re not alone, and help is available. Consider reaching  out  to  your  health  care  provider and engaging other counseling resources for guidance on next steps.

What steps will you take today to be well and live life more fully?

Want to talk to a counselor today about this? 

Call us at 800-453-7733 and ask for your “Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation" with one of our licensed counselors. We’ll listen, answer questions you may have, and help you plan next steps.

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