Everything feels overwhelming. You know it’s a modern-day problem, but stress didn’t always affect you like this. You have always worked so well under pressure. Stress helped you focus and have the energy to power through to get things done. Once, you could control the stress, but now it seems the roles are reversed, and stress is kicking you to the curb.
You’re so tired, but you can’t sleep. Perhaps you lay awake at night because you’re worried about everything going on in your life. If you do manage to fall asleep, it’s not quality sleep. You toss and turn or wake up often. When the alarm goes off, all you want to do is hit snooze…several times. Most importantly, you don’t want to face the day with all its endless demands and deadlines. You know you should manage your stress better, but even that task feels stressful, another thing to do. You just don’t have the energy for one more thing.
Side-effects of Chronic Stress
When we don’t know how to unwind from stress and cultivate peace, stress accumulates. Sustained or repeated stress can disrupt many body processes. It can cause or exaggerate physical and mental conditions. These are some of the ways stress negatively manifests in your body:
In short, stress impacts all of you: your body, your emotions, your mind, and your spirit. It interferes with your presence and performance in your job, your relationships, and in your health.
Over time, too much stress can even cause burnout.
Symptoms of Burnout
Burnout can have a variety of symptoms. Yet, it often looks different from person to person. You are unique. Therefore, how you respond to stress will be different than how someone else does. In general, people suffer from three main symptoms of burnout:
People feel physically drained of energy and emotionally exhausted. They struggle to cope with difficulty. Some complain of physical symptoms such as pain or stomach and bowel problems.
Alienation, isolation, and depersonalization
You feel more stressed about work or your relationships than usual. In fact, you feel frustrated more and more often. Perhaps you’ve even started to feel less empathetic. It’s like you’re too tired to even care. You’re disconnected from the world around you. It’s hard to feel compassionate or enthusiastic about anything. Diminished performance or sense of accomplishment
When you are burned out, you feel ineffective. It’s hard to focus, be positive, or be creative.
Although many life situations are demanding or difficult, they do not have to affect you in a way that feels stressful. In counseling for stress management, you can learn ways to prevent unnecessary stress and methods of responding to stress that regulate emotion and restore balance.
But first, we have to explore the real obstacles that stand between you and your well-being, both internal and external.
Therapy for Stress and Burnout Can Help
We have been supporting clients with stress management counseling for years. We use effective, evidence-based strategies that give you relief from the symptoms of stress and burnout, help you explore and eliminate unnecessary stressors, and strengthen your resilience with coping strategies for effective stress management.
In therapy, we can help you create a healing space between a difficult event and the upsetting thoughts and emotions that cause you stress. When your mind can become a nonjudgmental observer, it is open in a way that allows you to avoid the perception and accumulation of unhealthy stress. Then you can mindfully respond in a way that does not increase stress.
You can learn what it feels like to engage in real self-care that is authentic for you, not an endless to-do list of self-care “shoulds.” You can then cultivate calm, improve your mood, and increase your energy and enjoyment of life.
We can help you discern and communicate your values, desires, and goals, set healthy boundaries, and design a life in alignment with your true nature and preferences. This might lead you to let go of some activities, responsibilities, and relationships, but it also might mean adding in some practices or activities that bring you joy. Very often, it is a combination of the two.
There is no question, modern life can be stressful. Let me help you respond to stress in a way that doesn’t hurt your health and happiness.