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Couple Therapy Session

Stress Management

Do you ever feel like you could get everything done, if only there were more than 24 hours in a day? You are not alone. In a world with 24/7 connectedness, we are often pulled in many directions. It's easy to get stopped in our tracks by all the choices and demands on our time. For some people, it can escalate to a sense of being overwhelmed or even feeling hopeless or depressed.

In dealing with stress, there are many ways in which therapy can be helpful. It is important to look at current stressors as well as past experiences which may be contributing to anxiety. Sometimes our unconscious impulses based on our history can infiltrate the present. Maybe you are afraid to ask for what you need in a relationship because you are expecting a past experience to repeat itself in your current life. This could cause anxiety that might lead to inaction or an inability to communicate effectively. Once you identify the negative thoughts from the past that are operating, you can alter the limiting beliefs so you can move forward. You begin to change the negative self-talk to more positive, realistic, and reassuring messages that enable you to become your own coach.

It is sometimes helpful to do a "dress rehearsal" of a potentially stressful upcoming situation or conversation. This could be at work, at home, or even school. By practicing ways of expressing ourselves, we are often able to prepare for situations and prevent the challenging outcome we are concerned about. This often helps to take an anticipated stressful situation and diffuse it before it begins.

Other techniques which are often effective in reducing anxiety include getting enough exercise, sleep, and eating less sugar. The challenge is eliminating the excuses that get in the way of implementing the healthy behaviors that we know will make us feel better. That's where psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches can bring to consciousness some of the unconscious motivators that are inhibiting us. Once we can identify the unconscious forces at work, we are more likely to be able to overcome them, and put into action the healthy behaviors that make our lives more manageable and enjoyable.