Stress is a normal bodily response to a trigger in your environment that causes you to feel threatened or upset. When your brain perceives danger, it signals your body to activate an automatic process. Stress can include thinking, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms, including the following:
Are you stressed?
- Memory problems and foggy thinking
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Irritability, moodiness, and nervousness
- Insomnia, bodily pains, heart palpitations, and indigestion
Stages of Stress
Hans Selye (1907-1982) conceptualized the body’s stress response as a series of three stages, referred to as the General Adaption Syndrome.
Stage 1: Alarm Reaction
This first stage refers to your immediate reaction to a stressor. During this stage, you experience the “fight-flight-or freeze” response, which is your body’s automatic process to deal with a perceived threat-real or imagined. Your body undergoes a series of physiological processes to prepare you to handle the threat. In particular, a signal is sent to the brain’s hypothalamus then to the pituitary gland and finally to the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones trigger your body to immediately react.
Stage 2: Resistance
If the stress remains, your body attempts to adapt to the stressor and maintains a level of alertness. Your body continues to release hormones to help the body react.
Stage 3: Exhaustion
When the stress remains, your body has difficulty resisting the stressor. By this stage, your body becomes exhausted and many bodily functions can become impaired. Someone who experiences daily conflict at work or home, for example, might eventually develop high blood pressure, get sick, experience sleep problems or feel fatigued.
While we can’t eliminate stress completely from our lives, we can better manage stress. This will lead to improved physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Meeting with a therapist can help you identify what specifically causes your stress and how to better manage stress in your life.
Dr. Mazzei takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to manage stress. The goal of counseling is to help individuals identify the causes of their stress, to develop the necessary skills to cope with stress and foster positive life changes. Relaxation training, mindfulness, thought changing, biofeedback,neurofeedback, and hypnosis are just some of the techniques that have been found to reduce stress. Working with a stress management specialist, Dr. Mazzei can facilitate appropriate changes in thinking, emotions, behavior, and relationships, all of which can help alleviate your stress.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is by speaking to our staff, who can discuss stress management treatment, answer any questions about the process, and schedule a confidential appointment with Dr. Mazzei. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an initial consultation, please call or contact us today.
Connect with us
Evolutions Behavioral Health Services is located at 3377 S. Price Rd. Suite 2104, Chandler, AZ. Additionally, Dr. Mazzei offers teletherapy for online stress management counseling. You can reach us at (480) 448-6755.