Recognize and Rise Above Stress in Tarrant County Texas
Identifying Stress and Stress Recovery Resources in Tarrant County
Stress is a normal part of life. But for many of us, it can sometimes spiral out of control. Too much stress can harm your body at the cellular level, plus cause significant mental strain, leading to the development of anxiety, depression, and other conditions or disorders. Stress affects millions of Americans each day. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your life! In fact, you can learn to identify the signs of stress and discover Stress Recovery Resources in Tarrant County and beyond.
Let us help you get on the road to stress recovery today.
Icare Crisis Line
For mental health and substance use emergency support and referral (MHMR of Tarrant County).
Youth Crisis Hotline
Text CONNECT to 741-741
Stress – what is it?
Clinically speaking, stress is actually a normal physiological response that everyone experiences from time to time. Your body is physically designed to withstand stress.
Stressors are environmental challenges or dangers that induce physical and mental responses in your body. Stressors can include things like an anxious event at work, such as a performance review by your boss, a physical danger like seeing a rattlesnake, or mental stressors such as a mental health disorder.
When your body experiences a stress response, it adjusts to the new situation. Some types of stress can be positive by helping us avoid danger or stay alert in dangerous situations – this is your “fight or flight response”. However, many people experience ongoing or chronic stress, leading to negative side effects of stress and serious health problems.
For example, during stress, your body’s autonomic nervous system increases your breathing, dilates your pupils, and increases your heart rate. All of this helps you become ready for physical activity quickly, but stress can cause a significant inflammation or wear and tear in your body’s tissues.
Immune system’s effectiveness
Furthermore, the stress response releases the hormone cortisol, which is used to facilitate the above responses. Unfortunately, if your brain receives too much cortisol, it can become stressed out, fatigued, anxious, and more. Cortisol also lowers your immune system’s effectiveness, making you more susceptible to viral or bacterial diseases.
A normal amount of stress dissipates and leaves you feeling normal once the stressful event has ceased. Long-term or “chronic” stress is much more serious. Chronic stress can be caused by a variety of factors or circumstances like:
- Having a difficult home life or stressful family environment – is especially dangerous for LGBTQ youths and teens
- Trouble at work or school
- Being forced to interact with unpleasant people
- A difficult life event or traumatic incident, such as the loss of a loved one or a divorce
What are the common signs of stress?
Stress is not just a mental disorder. It is a physical condition that causes noticeable symptoms that you can use to determine whether you or someone you love is suffering from too much stress. The behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms of stress include:
- Aches and pains, especially in the chest or in the abdomen
- A feeling of doom or like your heart is racing uncontrollably
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping, often in conjunction with fatigue or exhaustion
- Stomach or digestive issues
- Muscle tension, which can also manifest as aches around the neck and shoulders
- A weakened immune system and a higher likelihood of infection
- Anxiety or irritability
- Panic attacks
- Depression or intense sadness
Additionally, many people under extreme stress will turn to unhealthy behaviors in order to cope or manage the symptoms. These coping behaviors can manifest as behavioral symptoms of stress, like:
- Generally risky behavior
- Unprotected sex
- Drinking too often or too much
- Smoking or using other drugs
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Compulsive shopping
If you believe you are suffering from high stress levels, don’t hesitate to contact Recognize & Rise today. We can get you in touch with a mental health professional in Tarrant County or connect you to several other support resources.
What are the five emotional signs of stress?
Stress specifically has emotional signals that, when taken together, can strongly indicate that an individual is suffering from chronic stress. These major signs include:
- Low sex drive
- Compulsive behavior
These emotional signs of stress, when they do not cease after a short while, can indicate that someone is feeling very bad. If you notice these signs of stress and another person, try to show them support and talk with them to discover if they need help.
What does stress do to your brain?
At the cellular level, too much stress can impair brain function and even disrupt synapse regulation. In this way, your brain stops working as healthily as normal if you are overstressed. If chronic stress is left unchecked, stress can kill brain cells and reduce the size of your brain over time.
Because of this, it’s vital that you know how to identify and treat stress as soon as possible, particularly if you have been under the effects of chronic stress for quite a long time.
How do you identify stress in yourself?
Noticing the signs of high stress in other people is usually easier than identifying stress in oneself. However, you can and should pay attention to yourself regularly to identify the signs of stress overload, which can include:
- The above-mentioned physical aches and pains
- An upset stomach that never goes away
- Generally low energy
- A loss of sexual desirability
- A loss of interest in your regular hobbies or favorite subjects
- Frequent colds or infections
If you notice any of these signs, consider speaking to a mental health care professional or contact a support group for an official diagnosis and support information.
How does the brain heal from stress?
While the symptoms of long-term stress are particularly worrying when it comes to brain health, your brain can also heal from stress with certain techniques or strategies.
For instance, exercising after a stressful experience can help your brain get rid of cortisol and other stressful chemicals. It also helps you concentrate and increases your energy over the long term.
You should also get plenty of sleep to help your brain heal from stress. The brain cleanses itself of harmful chemicals and reorganizes information during sleep. A strong support network with friends who love you, as well as regular meditation or calming activities, can do wonders for helping your brain recover from a stressful experience or from chronic stress.
Can the body recover from chronic stress?
Absolutely. While chronic stress can be debilitating and very difficult to tackle, your body can fully recover from chronic stress given enough time and support.
In many ways, the best ways to help your body recover from stress are identical to ways to help your brain heal from stress! For your body to recover from chronic stress, you must first eliminate the stressors causing the issue in the first place.
Improving your physical health can involve getting a new job, changing your friend group, and cutting out toxic people from your life. But it can also include positive activities or lifestyle changes, including:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthily
- Enjoying the company of people who love you and support you, like your favorite family member or a close friend
- Going to support groups when necessary to support your self-esteem
- Practicing mindfulness, meditation, or other stress-reducing habits
All of these treatments can do wonders to help you manage stress and reduce its emotional symptoms over time.
How can we prevent stress?
Stress is very difficult to avoid given our modern lifestyles and the plethora of chronic stressors we may encounter. Additionally, it’s not always possible to avoid stress – for example, if your job is stressful but you need the paycheck, you can’t just up and quit.
However, you can prevent stress by:
- Leaning on your friends and venting to your family members from time to time. Silence is not strength; don’t keep everything bottled up if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Practicing stress management techniques, like mindfulness and meditation, regularly, which can help stress from building up to a harmful level.
- Continuing to exercise, particularly after a very stressful event.
- Gradually discovering what you want to do with your life and eliminating any toxic or stressful factors that may be diminishing its quality.
If you need help understanding how to prevent stress or how to lower stress in your life, Recognize & Rise has several materials you should take advantage of, including wellness exercises and guides.
How to manage and reduce stress
If you are experiencing chronic stress or want to assist someone who feels stressed there are multiple ways in which you can manage and reduce stress.
Many of these strategies are practiced at wellness clinics or support groups. Recognize & Rise can help connect you to many of these resources if you’re suffering from stress right now, including professionals for diagnosis or treatment. Excellent wellness and stress reduction techniques include:
- Relaxation exercises like yoga, tai chi, and even meditation. Breathing exercises and muscle relaxation in particular are accessible and effective techniques you can leverage either by yourself or through supportive community programs like Recognize & Rise.
- Thought control exercises to help you accept that you can’t control everything in your life. In this way, you’ll learn to let go of things that cause you stress if you can’t change them, minimizing their effect on your wellness.
- Behavioral exercises teach individuals to say “no” to responsibilities or obligations when they cannot healthily take them on or accept them.
- Emotional support activities, which can help individuals cultivate new friendships or other close relationships and build a support group around themselves.
- Hotlines and support forums that provide avenues for stressed individuals to vent or speak to other people about their experiences.
Find stress recovery resources today
Stress can be a long-term drain on your wellness and minimize how much you enjoy life. Don’t let it keep you down – contact Recognize & Rise today. We can offer a variety of support resources and can help you overcome stress or show you how to adjust your lifestyle to prevent stress from dominating your life.