How to Manage Stress

Do you find yourself more stressed out than you think you ought to be? Are you feeling increasingly higher amounts of pressure, and do you think it’s getting harder to manage it all? Does even reading this cause some tension? Everyone faces stress at one time or another for over a short period, or in some cases, over a continued time frame.

Understanding Stress

Short-term stress is a natural (and vital) part of our bodies’ ability to function. Imagine our bodies as cars cruising along at a nice steady rate. Every once in a while we need to go faster to pass an obstacle. Stress is putting the foot on the accelerator to pass our problem. We might even go over the speed limit a little, but it’s needed to keep us moving. Once we’ve passed our obstacle, we go back to cruising comfortably.

But chronic stress is bad news. Aside from the constant mental exhaustion and negative moods, it’s also linked to a variety of health problems that amplify stress. Chronic stress depresses your body’s immune system, weakens your hippocampus (the part of your brain where memories are stored), and can create worse problems. Not treating chronic stress is like speeding too much: you can manage for a little while, but the longer you let it go, eventually more significant problems are going to happen that will slow you down even more.

Quick Stress Relief

So what’s to be done about it? While plenty of effective treatments are available, here are a few techniques you can use right now:

-Get more sleep. Even if it means sacrificing a TV show. You may not even remember what it’s like to get enough sleep in a night, but if you start to, you’ll feel better. If this not possible, then:

-Start saying no. When friends or family ask you for favors, to volunteer for work, or even to social functions. Everyone needs some amount of personal time to decompress, even if it’s just to read the newspaper. Your friends and family will still love you, even if you decline every once in a while. If you still have too much on your plate, you can:

-Start delegating. Chances are you have a few people you know who could help you out with at least some of your responsibilities, even if just temporarily. Remember, you’re only responsible for getting things done—not doing them all by yourself.

Sometimes you might need a more individually tailored approach that involves more sophisticated treatment methods. If you’d like to find out more, for a free telephone consultation call me at (858) 793-2400. Consulting a therapist can help you prioritize effectively, uproot the hidden causes of your stress, and get you back to your comfortable speed.

About Jill Silverman, LCSW

Jill Silverman, LCSW has been helping individuals and couples with her introspective therapy for over a decade. With compassion and warmth, she is dedicated to assisting those who seek ways to handle life’s stressful situations, manage difficult emotions, reestablish and rebuild more rewarding relationships, and overcome negative feelings. With an office in the San Diego area, Jill Silverman is a therapist with the clinical knowledge and training to provide people with the coping skills they need to increase confidence and understand life’s ever-evolving challenges with clarity and insight.