April is Stress Awareness Month. In this article, I offer some advice to help you learn how to identify stress in your life.
Stress is a natural part of life, but processing, dealing with, and healing from stress in a healthy way takes a little bit of practice. If you don’t know how to tell when you are stressed and what is causing your stress, then managing stress becomes a very difficult task.
Let’s examine a few strategies that could help you identify the stress in your life.
Know Where Stress Often Comes from in Your Life
One of the first things we need to do is differentiate between acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress symptoms are short-term manifestations of stress—for example, the stress you feel when you are running late for an appointment is acute stress. On the other hand, if you feel like you are drowning in stress, even when there are no apparent outward causes, you could be experiencing chronic stress symptoms.
Chronic stress can stem from prolonged issues, such as money problems, trouble at home or work, conflicts in relationships, and the loss of a loved one, to name a few examples. Symptoms can also appear when little stressors add up over time.
If you can discover how to identify stress, you will be able to better cope with it and apply strategies to reduce it. To identify what is causing your stress, simply start paying attention when you feel the onset of symptoms. These symptoms may include emotional changes—agitation, feeling overwhelmed, and depression are common—and physical ones, like increased heart rate, headaches, and aches in the body.
When these signs appear, ask yourself what is causing them. Even if you think that there is an immediate cause, try to dig a little deeper to find a root cause. You might be surprised to realize that you are getting angry while sitting in traffic not because you might be late for work but because of an underlying cause.
Dealing with Stress
Learning how to identify stress relief techniques that work for you is a personal process. Some of the most common include controlled breathing, meditation, and calming the senses.
Many people benefit from speaking to a professional about new strategies that help with stress management.
Learn How to Identify Stress and Become More Aware
Are you tired of living with stress without any way to reduce it? It is possible to increase your awareness to give you the insight you need to manage your stress better, and Somatic education can help. Let’s talk so that we can come up with a way to help you identify and deal with your stress.
If you are interested in getting started, get in touch with me today to schedule a session. Don’t forget: if your stress is causing you pain, we also offer a telehealth option with Total Motion Physical Therapy.
Carol is a physical therapist, a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory, a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, and a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence. Focus, Align, Teach and Inspire! These qualities not only describe her work, but they also describe her presence. She is passionate when it comes to reconnecting learning with human function and health. Carol is in private practice at MontgomerySomatics.com in Columbus, Indiana.