Everyone knows what it is to feel stressed. Broadly defined, stress is a situation where the demands on you are so heavy that they tax your resources. At first, this kicks the system into developing itself to be able to handle more. In this way, it is essential for growth and development, leads to greater resiliency, better conditioning, sharper cognition, and better physical and mental performance, until . . . it doesn’t.

When stress is prolonged, or so severe you can’t adapt to it, it becomes a serious problem. All physical and emotional ailments are exacerbated by stress. Pain, digestion, sleep, memory, skin conditions, reproductive capacity are all adversely affected by too much stress. Depressionanxietyanger, and overall unhappiness increase with stress, as do relationship problems, poor work performance, and loss of enjoyment of life.

We are all overloaded with the demands of raising families, pursuing professions, dealing with family and relationships. Stress is universal. Hence we are all responsible for maintaining ourselves intelligently, and practicing good self-care by learning how to manage our stress. A routine of exercise, good sleep, meditation, healthy diet, meaningful work, and quality time with people we love is essential for us to weather the demands of life with equanimity and poise.

Part of the art of living is learning how to differentiate between routine daily stress and life threatening situations. Our physiological responses are the same, making it necessary to consciously interpret our own signals to tell the difference between things we can safely ignore and things we must attend to immediately. This skill set can be learned with a little practice.

Research shows us that more important than stressful events themselves are our thoughts about them. A persistently negative response to challenges will have a harmful effect on your health and happiness. Learning to see stress as opportunity and invitation in the great adventure of life can shift your response to one that is invigorating and motivating. Even when we can’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can always look to change the way we respond to them. This process takes practice and clear thinking. Our expert therapists are here to work with you.