With everything going on in the world right now, it is no surprise that many of us may be feeling particularly on edge and stressed. If you are finding yourself having trouble relaxing, focusing, or getting things done, it might be time to evaluate your sources and symptoms of stress. Taking the time to assess your stress can be an important first step in finding ways to effectively cope.
Where Is Your Stress Coming From?
Some sources of stress may be obvious, while others may come as a surprise. By naming and defining your stressors, you can help ensure that you stay focused and prepared to better manage your stress moving forward. Stressors can vary greatly from one person to another and can shift over time.
Here are some different ways to think about stress to help you assess all your sources of stress:
- Daily Hassles (e.g. getting stuck in traffic) v. Major Life Events (e.g. divorce or death)
- Negative Events (e.g. job loss) v. Positive Events (e.g. planning a wedding)
- Stress in Different Areas in Your Life
- Your Environment
What Are Your Symptoms?
After evaluating your sources of stress, it is also important to then understand your symptoms of stress—where and how do you feel stressed? Symptoms of stress may also come and go or change over time, so it can be helpful to check-in with yourself as you manage different stressors throughout your life.
There are three main “types” of symptoms that can be helpful to think explore when evaluating how you experience stress:
- Physical reactions (e.g. feeling tired or tense)
- Thoughts (e.g. worrying excessively, thinking negatively or being easily annoyed, being forgetful)
- Behaviors (e.g. sleep difficulty or avoidance of stressful situations)
What Can You Do to Find Relief?
Understanding your unique sources and symptoms of stress can give you a better idea of how to manage these stressors. An assessment of sources of stress may lead help you be more mindful in taking on new responsibilities. Or it may help you come up with a plan for how to managing the stressors more effectively.
Physical symptoms may lead you to focus on relaxation strategies, while excessive worries might be better managed by challenging these negative thoughts to find a better sense of balance. While it may be daunting to “unpack” all of the ways in which we feel stressed, taking the time to assess your stress can result in you feeling less overwhelmed and more confident in your abilities to cope.
It is important to note that the goal of effective coping is not to completely remove all stress in your life. Effective coping is focused rather on how well you manage stress as it inevitably comes about.
If you are struggling to manage your stress over a long period of time or if you find that you are feeling completely overwhelmed, it might be time to try something new. Psychotherapy with a skilled mental health professional can help you cope with your unique set of stressors and related symptoms to help you regain your confidence, especially during these uncertain times.
I encourage anybody interested in psychotherapy to help manage stress and overwhelm to reach out to a provider near them to learn more about how therapy can help. For more information about sources and symptoms of stress, feel free to watch the video above or contact us directly to learn more.
About Dr. Tanaka & Coronado Psych
Dr. Rika Tanaka (PSY30925) is a licensed psychologist and founder of Coronado Psych. At Coronado Psych, our mission is to offer high-quality, evidence-based psychological services and supportive counseling to our community. We currently have availability for new clients and are offering all sessions online or over-the-phone. We also have reduced fees available for healthcare and essential workers.
If you or someone you love is interested in therapy or supportive counseling, please feel free to contact Coronado Psych at (619) 554-0120 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a free initial consultation at: https://coronado-psych.clientsecure.me.
Learn more by visiting our website (www.coronadopsych.com) or watching this brief video: