Stress is an unavoidable part of our fast-paced lives and a characteristic feature of what we call ‘the new normal’. Stress becomes an issue when the intensity and duration of our stress levels exceed our coping ability. Over time, resources to cope with stress might start depleting if you forget to replenish them every once in a while.
If stress remains unaddressed and is left to hang in there, managing day-to-day tasks might seem impossible. You might find yourself getting irritated at the slightest inconvenience, snapping at your loved ones, or even failing to meet your work targets and responsibilities.
Some level of stress is good for us, helps us to put in our best efforts and improves our performance known as ‘eustress’. Eustress is useful as it helps us efficiently use the resources we possess to deal with a challenge or minor crisis situation. However, prolonged, intense stress exposure might turn into distress which negatively impacts our mind and body.
Lack of energy, fatigue, and weakness can be indicative of physical exhaustion. Mental exhaustion can look like feeling helpless, hopeless, lack of motivation, irritability, and anxiety. The state of physical, psychological, and emotional exhaustion is known as burnout. These symptoms are commonly seen in people starting counseling for stress. Seeking timely counseling for stress can assist you to identify early signs of stress and help you to develop a personalized stress management plan to cope with your concerns and issues in the best possible manner before you reach a stage of developing anxiety or mental disorders.
Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It can cause physical difficulties like headache, body ache, high blood pressure, gastric and digestive issues and weakens overall immunity making us more susceptible to other ailments. Stress can challenge us emotionally, develop in the form of anxiety, making us feel anxious, moody, irritable, impulsive, frustrated, and approach situations negatively. It can negatively impact cognitive functioning leading to difficulty in concentration, decision making, and memory. Anxiety is a vague, diffuse feeling of worry and apprehension about the future which might accompany stress.
Did your boss say something?
Did something not go according to how you planned?
Are you mourning the loss of a relationship or a loved one?
Are you experiencing major transitions in your life- a new city, a new job or a new role?
Whatever it is that is bothering you, feels like it is testing your patience, potential, putting your mental health upside down. You might struggle with this alone, loved ones might not know how to support you. This is where mental health professionals can help. Online therapy, also called, e-therapy, can help you connect with trained professionals from the comfort of your home.
The new age e-therapy model of online counseling is an easily accessible, convenient alternative to traditional therapeutic modalities. In-person therapy suffices for clinical interventions, assessments, etc. in case of mental disorders while e-therapy works wonderfully for life challenges causing a stress response. With options like Emails, Online Chat, Call, Video calls offered by online therapists.
How can Counseling help for stress?
Counseling for stress management can help you learn effective techniques to keep your stress levels at bay by training you in different stress management techniques. An online therapist begins e-therapy by creating a safe, non-judgmental, confidential space where you feel comfortable in freely sharing and exploring your issues in depth. In counseling, you work with a professional to identify unhelpful patterns, learning alternate ways to approach a stressful situation that can serve you better. As you start learning about and challenging old patterns and start experimenting with new ones, your online therapist helps you to tackle obstacles that act as barriers in change and act as a catalyst in the process.
Many times, the issues of stress and anxiety, depression, and lack of confidence, self-doubt, poor decision-making skills, and other mental disorders are intertwined and hence become overwhelming to deal with alone. Professionals can help gain clarity, prioritize goals and come up with effective action plans for your well-being. We have listed below some helpful ways of stress management that are often used in therapeutic settings for stress counseling.
Relaxation techniques- Evidence indicated using relaxation techniques lowers stress symptoms and susceptibility to physical ailments like hypertension and heart disease. Progressive relaxation techniques begin from the lower part of the body, making their way forward to upper body parts leading to facial muscles relaxing the whole body. Deep breathing techniques are often accompanied by muscle relaxation for an overall calming effect.
Meditation practice enables the mind and body to unison. It helps gain an altered state of consciousness, find awareness and achieve peace. There are different forms of meditation- visualization, mindfulness, focused, mantra, spiritual, and many others. You and your counselor can explore together to find the one that works for you. Research indicates the effectiveness of these techniques is significant in improving mental health.
Biofeedback- The technique involves consciously observing and reducing physiological symptoms by providing feedback about physiological activity along with relaxation training. There are three stages of biofeedback training. The first: awareness of physiological responses like breathing rate, heart rate. The second stage involves learning ways to manage those physiological responses in a safe space. The third stage involves transferring the learning’s to real-life situations.
Cognitive Behavioral techniques– Online therapists offer CBT techniques that can offer alternative ways of thinking, regain a sense of control, enhance confidence and self-efficacy, manage severe physiological and psychological symptoms which enables you to effectively deal with stressful situations.
Life Skills– Counseling can help you gain skills and resources like assertiveness, time management, maintaining healthy relations all of which can go a long way in meeting personal and professional goals, overcoming challenges, and contributing towards better mental health.
Build Resilience- Building a support network, engaging in self-care activities, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, ensuring intake of well-balanced meals, engaging in physical activities- all these little lifestyle changes can act as a buffer against stress.
At Betterlyf, you get to choose from various modes of e-therapy that can suit you the best. You do not have to think and plan for weeks in advance to make that dreaded visit to the therapist’s office. We, at Betterlyf, have taken a step to bring help a step closer to you. The next step is yours to take!
When you sense something feels off, you feel disconnected, unheard, or just that you could be doing better, take that step towards e-therapy. Give it a try. It might just change your life 🙂
Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how