Stress is a normal part of life and, within manageable limits, actually motivates us to grow stronger and achieve our goals. This is healthy stress. For example, the physical stress we place on our bodies during a gym workout leads to greater strength, endurance, and energy. However, physical exertion beyond our ability to handle it can be counterproductive, leading to exhaustion, injury, or even illness. In the same manner, when circumstances challenge us beyond our ability to manage or cope with them, such as divorce, health concerns, financial difficulties, or relationship problems, we can experience unhealthy stress. When this happens we can become overwhelmed, exhausted, and less able to respond effectively to the situation. We can even increase our risk of developing many illnesses, including anxiety and depression.
In these situations, counseling can be very helpful. Through support, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and relaxation techniques you can learn to manage your stress more effectively and improve your coping skills.