Our bodies are exquisitely programmed to maintain homeostasis (balance) and ideally we are successful in achieving this, but sometimes we have stressful life circumstances that disrupt this delicate balance. When the stress response is activated repeatedly as in chronic stress, or by a single event which is too overwhelming for us to process, problems can begin to arise. We may feel irritable, anxious and depressed, have problems with focus and concentration, notice various physical complaints/illness, have fatigue, experience hyper-arousal and become hypersensitive within our environment, or even shut down completely. We may find ourselves abusing substances, including caffeine, alcohol or illicit drugs in an attempt to restore balance. Not understanding what is happening, we may begin to feel exhausted, helpless and hopeless, forming negative beliefs about ourselves and doubting our self-efficacy.
In general, when working with stress management and adjusting to life changes there are typically lifestyle changes which need to be made to help restore balance within your entire system. These changes may include minor or major tweaks to your diet, sleep hygiene and exercise plan in addition to forming other healthy self-care habits. It will be important to examine self-talk and to identify/challenge any negative, fearful or unhealthy beliefs which add unnecessary stress. Additionally, we can explore various practices such as relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, breathing practices, and restorative yoga to help shift your body into an ideal state for self-repair and healing. Together, we will explore your current life stressors and come up with a plan to help you move forward.