Stress Health (cont.)

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Stress Treatment

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Self-Care at Home

When you find yourself feeling the bad effects of stress, you need to take action immediately. The sooner you begin the process of treatment, the easier it will be and the quicker you find relief and be back to your normal state.

  • The first step in the process is to try to identify the cause of the stress. Sometimes this is a known source such as a deadline at work, a pile of unpaid bills, or a relationship that is not working out. It can at times be more difficult to find the source of your problem.
    • Often, many relatively mild stressors occurring at once can bring on the same stress as a larger problem or known source of anxiety or worry.
    • Some people experience chronic and sometimes severe stress from events that occurred in the past (a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • If you can identify the source of your stress, remove yourself from it or address the situation. That may be all that is needed to resolve the situation and your anxiety. Even if you are only able to get away for a few seconds or minutes, the break is important and can help you on the way to a more permanent solution.
    • This break can be accomplished by physically removing yourself from the provoking situation (such as an argument) or mentally removing yourself from the stressor (such as financial worries) through a mental distraction, often called a time-out.
    • The point of these actions is to allow you a moment to relax and formulate a plan for dealing with the problem at hand. Just having a plan can be a great stress reliever. It gives you a set of positive steps that you can work on to get yourself back to your baseline and out of the stressful situation.
    • These steps should be broken down into tasks you can accomplish easily. Working toward a goal is rewarding. It prevents the hopelessness and lost feeling that can accompany stress and make it worse.
  • If you are unable to determine the source of your stress, you need to seek outside help. Sometimes discussing your situation with family, friends, or a spiritual adviser can be helpful. If these routes are not successful, you should make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health counselor to help determine the source of the stress and rule out any potentially reversible medical causes of your stress.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/5/2012

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