Stress & What You Need To Know

What is stress?

Stress, which can be noted as biological, psychological, or physiological, is the response in which one experiences a stressor. A stressor challenges one’s ability to adapt and use resources. 

For example, if your boss gives you a project deadline, the stressor may be accomplishing the project by its deadline. Stress is your response addressing and adapting to this stressor. It may create lower levels of stress as your worry may be minimal because you have a plan and know it will be accomplished with minimal effort. It may create higher levels of stress due to fear or worry of not completing it by the deadline or to the standard you’re expecting it to be, resulting in various symptoms. 

How to know if I am experiencing stress?

Stress presents in both, psychologically and physiologically (Becker et al., 2023).  Psychologically, stress is a state of worry or mental tension which can lead to anxiety or depression.

Physiologically, stress can be experienced in the following ways:

  • Decreased energy or exhaustion
  • Chest pains or a racing heart
  • Headaches
  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent illness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle tension or jaw clenching
  • Stomach or digestive problems
  • and more

Do other people experience stress?

Nearly everyone experiences stress in their day to day life (Wersebe et al., 2018). Some common stressors include big changes in ones life, work or school deadlines, lack of control in situations, experiencing hate, discrimination, or abuse, experiencing a traumatic event, arguments with loved ones, going through a breakup or divorce, a heightened level of pressure to perform in some way, financial challenges, instability in ones’ home, and many more. 

The types of stress and stressors, in addition to duration and intensity, depend on each individual taking into account their circumstances and their experience, their ability to manage and cope, and the support they receive.  

How can therapy help with stress?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used therapies for stress management.  Previous research suggests that CBT based stress-management interventions are most effective in improving quality of life, decreasing perceived stress, and decreasing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and burnout (Feldman, 2019). CBT based stress-management interventions can help individuals develop skills to interpret their stressors in a more adaptive way. These skills aim to reduce distress that is created due to the individual’s thoughts surrounding the stressor. 

Have questions or want to schedule an appointment?

Where do I look for therapy in NYC?

If you are looking for therapy in NYC and don’t know where to start, you are not alone. Finding a therapist can be overwhelming, and costly, especially in NYC. If you’re looking for a cost effective therapist, you can either search for one who accepts your insurance or find an outpatient practice that offers lower fees. Here at NYBH, we offer therapy for man reduced rates for intern therapists. All of our therapists are CBT trained and can offer skills and support to those experiencing stress. Plus, many places offer virtual options in addition to in-person sessions. 

It’s important you find someone who you feel comfortable with and trust. It is not uncommon to speak with multiple therapists before finding one that you connect with. Want to make a change? Learn more, contact us today.

References

Barrett, K., & Stewart, I. (2020). A preliminary comparison of the efficacy of online acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) stress management interventions for social and healthcare workers. Health & Social Care in the Community, 29(1), 113–126. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13074 

Becker, S., Spinath, B., Ditzen, B., & Dörfler, T. (2023). Psychological stress = physiological stress? Journal of Psychophysiology, 37(1), 12–24. https://doi.org/10.1027/0269-8803/a000301 

Feldman, M. (2019) A CBT-Based Stress Management Intervention for Work-Related Stress [Doctoral dissertation, Palo Alto University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/openview/cdbff0ecd92a0e547e8bf7418bb0f70d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y 

Wersebe, H., Lieb, R., Meyer, A. H., Hofer, P., & Gloster, A. T. (2018). The link between stress, well-being, and psychological flexibility during an acceptance and commitment therapy self-help intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 18(1), 60–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.09.002 

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