It is a known fact that stress, be that spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical, can make any other challenges in life worse. This is true not just for individuals, but also for counselors and therapists. Most counselors will tell you that panic, anxiety, anger, fear, rage, PTSD, loss of focus, addictions, chemical dependencies, and compulsive behaviors all have their roots in stress, and that stress often makes them worse. Depressive episodes are actually believed to be caused by overstimulation and anxiety. The way this works is that, when someone is anxious or stressed, they have a physiologic response of shutting down, to a degree, parts of the neocortex, where decision making processes take place. This is proven by the fact that people under stress have more psycho-pathologies, reduced ability to communicate, and poor problem solving skills. Additionally, it is one of the main reasons for people to seek out counselling in Tustin, CA.
Stress and Mental Health Challenges
There is a strong relationship between stress and mental health problems. Luckily, counselors are becoming aware of this, which is why a lot of their work is now down to teaching patients how to manage stress. If successful, their mental health symptoms should also start to become less apparent. There are numerous popular forms of stress management, including anxiety reducing practices like exercise, diet, meditation, and yoga, mindfulness, desensitization, and biofeedback. All of these can help reduce the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. If clients are motivated enough, these techniques can help them not just to control their symptoms, but it can also empower them to become more aware of their body, continue to employ mindfulness in their day to day living, and learn new skills to stop them from experiencing stressed out physiologies.
The key, however, is to empower the individual. They must become self aware, which will in turn give them increase self control. In so doing, they can learn to minimize and, in some cases, even eliminate their psychological symptoms. This becomes a positive cycle in which people feel increasingly positive, thereby also experiencing less anxiety and fear. The ultimate benefit is that people are less likely to require street drugs, alcohol, or medications.
It isn’t difficult to learn behavioral techniques like biofeedback and stress management either. However, patients often find it difficult to find the time and be motivated to do it. This is why counseling is so important for them. At the same time, it means counselors need to become aware of these techniques, as well as encouraging the family members of their patients to become involved in it. They can, together, act as positive role models for the person who is dealing with mental health issues.
While it may sound obvious, it is surprising how often people simply don’t realize that they must manage their stress to feel good, and how often counselors overlook people’s stress and anxiety in finding appropriate treatment. Encouraging people to take the time out to relax is sometimes all that is needed.