Try talking about it and youíll feel less stress
Is something bugging you? For most people, the answer is a big ďyes.Ē
The list of concerns that cause daily stress is vast. Not getting along with a spouse. Job stress. Ailing family member. Chronic health problem. No motivation. Crisis of faith. Depressed. More bills than money. Drinking more and more. Worry too much. Retirement is a bummer. Easily irritated. Not interested in anything. Canít lose weight. Miss a loved one who died.
Life wasnít supposed to turn out this way.
Stress affects everyone differently. It can make us unhappy, impatient, frustrated and downright exhausted. Stress can also take a serious toll on your physical health. Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, and affects everyone in different ways. Did you know:
ē More than 40 percent of adults suffer adverse health issues as a result of stress.
ē Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of visits to doctors are for stress-related issues.
ē Stress has been linked to bodily health concerns including heart problems, upset stomach, headaches, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep problems and skin conditions.
So what can you do about the things that are causing you unhappiness and harming your health? Try talking about it.
I know it sounds overly simplistic, but thoughts or feelings that you donít talk about stay in your head and they donít leave. When they donít get out, they look for a place to settle. Sometimes they settle in your mind ó as when thoughts keep you up all night. Sometimes they settle in your gut, causing stomach aches and digestive problems. Sometimes they settle in your muscles, leaving you feeling tense all the time.
But who should you talk to? Friends are good to talk to when you just want to vent, but when your stress is causing anxiety, depression or physical health problems, you need an expert. When you have a skin problem, you see a dermatologist, a skin expert. When you have a stress-related problem, you should see a mental-health professional. Donít let our titles scare you ó seeking care from a mental-health professional doesnít make you mentally ill. Truth be told, very few of the people I work with suffer from severe mental illness. Instead, most of the people I work with are struggling with issues such as the ones Iíve mentioned in this article ó issues that have become commonplace in todayís stressful world.
Psychologists are health-care professionals who are experts at helping you manage your life and getting back to feeling happy again. They donít prescribe medication (psychiatrists do that) ó they just help you sort through the things that are bothering you and find solutions so that your life can be simpler and more enjoyable. Donít put it off any longer ó take charge of your happiness and well-being. If you need help, contact a licensed mental-health professional today. Talk to an expert.
ó Daniel Goldman, Ph. D., is a licensed psychologist. If you think you have a problem, pick up the phone and call today. Youíll feel better tomorrow.