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I Didn't Used To Feel This Way: How Chronic Stress Impacts Us

Do you find that you've reached a point in your life where you just can't seem to cope anymore? I often have clients who come to me feeling overwhelmed or irritable all the time and wondering why they feel this way now when previously in their life they coped with stress just fine.

We usually find that somewhere along the way they flipped their 'on' switch and never turned it off. They've spent years accomplishing, advancing, and growing their family. At every turn they have been problem solving, helping, or putting out fires. it's important to understand the impacts of chronic stress.

stressed woman, chronic stress, dealing with stress

When someone is chronically stressed they can become "stuck" in fight or flight mode. Meaning, their mind is no longer very accurate at perceiving what is stressful and when it's ok to relax and so they end up perpetually prepared to react to stress threats. When someone's mind is in this state it can impact their moods, emotional regulation, concentration, and memory. It can be frustrating and confusing to feel as though you're no longer in control of your emotions or reactions.

Coming out of this state generally requires a multi-tiered approach. Techniques like deep breathing exercises and other distress tolerance skills can help manage those spikes in emotions or behaviors. Being pro-active in having and using an outlet for feelings, a good support system, and regularly engaging in things that make you happy are important. Additionally, it's essential to re-connect with one's body and emotions. And finally, making choices about boundaries and self care to create a life that supports wellness.

If this sounds like you then consider calling and learning how therapy may be able to help.

Katie Bernard, LCSW



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Hi. I'm Katie

Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing teletherapy to adults in Florida. 

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