All people experience stress. Believe it or not, some kinds of stress are actually good for you. But sometimes stress becomes chronic or so severe that it can inhibit a person’s ability to be a good spouse or parent, impair memory and concentration, lead to chronic fatigue or sleep problems, and can contribute to physical problems such as high blood pressure and infertility. But even the most stressful situations can be alleviated with the right approach.
Typical sources of stress include:
- Marriage and relationships
- Having a new baby (Postpartum stress)
- Peer conflict
Treatment usually consists of helping clients to make positive lifestyle changes, learn to control one’s bodily reactions to stress (for example, hyperventilating), balance the pressures of work and family, choosing what is worth worrying about and what is not, identifying priorities and finding ways to stick to them, learning how to keep negative thoughts from building and becoming more severe, and learning to be more assertive and to effectively communicate one’s needs to others.