Stress is an inescapable part of the human experience. Though it might not feel that way at the moment, the occasional stress is completely normal and not a cause for concern. Moderate levels of stress can even motivate you to get things done faster.
On the other hand, if you are constantly overwhelmed and stressed, it can reduce productivity and negatively affect your physical and mental health.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 57% of people who experience stress feel paralyzed by it. If you believe elevated stress levels are stopping you from living your life to the fullest, an experienced therapist might be able to help you.
Read on to learn more about the different types of therapy and how they can help you cope with chronic stress.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is often considered to be the most effective form of therapy for stress and anxiety as it addresses thought and behavioral patterns that increase stress levels.
Cognitive therapy works on the assumption that it is not particular events that cause stress but the way we think about them. Based on your life experiences, you will perceive and react to different situations in your own unique way. So, cognitive therapy aims to help you reconsider stress-triggering events from a new perspective.
By tackling negative thought patterns, you can learn to think and behave in a way that enables you to reduce stress levels and find healthier coping mechanisms. Cognitive therapy combined with the practice of mindfulness has also proven to be an effective treatment for chronic stress.
Unlike CBT, behavioral therapy is more focused on your actions than your thoughts. According to this therapy, previous behavioral responses influence your current actions. So, counseling works to help you create new behavioral patterns that allow you to handle stress more healthily in the future.
It is more effective for long-term stress triggers such as loss, traumatic events, phobias, and others.
Avoidance coping is an extremely unhealthy way of dealing with chronic stress. It involves denying, minimizing, and straight-up ignoring stressful situations. Though this might seem like a great solution to stress in the present, it might have detrimental effects on your mental health in the long run. Procrastination, passive-aggressiveness, and endless ruminations are all stress avoidance tactics.
Exposure therapy lets your therapist gradually introduce you to triggers you unconsciously avoid. By allowing you to face your fears and stressors in a safe and controlled environment, your therapist will guide you to gain the skills you need to face them in the real world.
Benefits of Counseling for Stress Management
- It lets you identify the “why” behind your stress-inducing behaviors and provides you with a better understanding of your fears and how you can tackle them.
- Counseling provides you with a healthy outlet for your emotions, allowing you to deal with your fears and anxieties in a safe environment.
- It helps you discover effective coping mechanisms and self-care techniques that allow you to manage stress in everyday life.
If you’re struggling with chronic stress and looking for stress management counseling in Carrollton, schedule an appointment at Lifeworks Counseling Center. Our therapists will help you figure out personalized stress reduction techniques that work for you. Contact us for more information.