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In our rapidly paced society where we are expected to be working, connected to others and responsive 24/7 we might not notice the effects situations are having on us. Stress can be beneficial to us in small doses, in that it assists us in completing tasks and be productive. However, intensity and frequency of stress can creep into our daily lives and have an impact on our mental health.

Signs and symptoms of stress overload

  • Memory problems
  • Racing thoughts/worry
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Frequent illness

Tips for coping with stress

  • Create a routine for sleeping, eating, exercising
  • Connect face to face with a supportive person
  • Engage your senses: sight, touch, taste, sound, smell
  • Change your thoughts about stressful events
  • Take time each day to relax and unwind
  • Prayer, meditation, or enhancing spiritual life
  • Focus on things I can control

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook . Davis, Eshelman, McKay. 2008.

Stress impacts everyone differently so it is important to take time to check in with ourselves daily to observe if we are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Once we become more aware of the impact that stress might be having in our lives we can take the appropriate steps to begin to manage daily life stressors. If stress is impacting our daily functioning, it can be beneficial to seek support from trained professionals who can assist in reducing symptoms and create a specialized treatment plan for you to manage stress and achieve your goals.

Stephanie Cerula, LPCC, NCC
Clinical Counselor, The Behavioral Wellness Group

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.