© 2013 by BKO Counseling Services                    AFFORDABLE SAN DIEGO THERAPIST - Brian K. Oltman Psy.D., LMFT

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What is Stress?

Stress is a person’s response to any situation or event that requires adjustment or change. The stress reaction prepares the mind and body to react to any situation that is new, threatening or exciting. We often think of stress only in terms of negative events, but stressors can be positive as well. The result has more to do with how we interpret an event than it does with the stressor itself. For example, one student may see getting a poor grade as a warning to seek help, while another student may interpret this event as a blow to his or her life plans. Stress, however, is a normal part of life. Stress provides energy and motivation. The root of problematic stress or an anxiety disorder may be due to a breakdown in coping.

When Stress Becomes Distress - While there are some needed and natural manifestations of stress, on-going and severe exposure to stress can be harmful. A person under continued high stress may experience a wide range of emotional reactions, which may include anxiety, irritability, sadness, and depression.


Behaviorally, one may experience reduced physical energy, sleeplessness, problems with coordination and/or psychosomatic symptoms such as headaches, backaches or gastrointestinal problems. Mentally, a person may have a severe reduction in his/her ability to concentrate, store information in memory and solve mental problems.

How Do I Reduce Stress?
Stress is a necessary and unavoidable part of life. We cannot and would not want to eliminate all sources of stress. We can, however, learn to cope more effectively with stressors by employing effective physical, behavioral and cognitive coping strategies. People tend to use different ways of coping at different times. The ways people cope with stress can be divided into three areas: Solution-Focused, Emotion-Focused, and Avoidance.   Make your Appointment Today!


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