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Stress Management

Dr. Jan Mark Burte - Stress Management

Overview

 

Stress often leads to behavioral changes such as overeating, smoking, drinking, drug abuse, prescription medication abuse,as well as habit disorders such as nail-biting and hair-pulling. Stress can also result in emotional changes such as anxiety, depression, withdrawal and apathy, and physiological changes, including insomnia, increased adrenaline levels, immune system impairment, and central nervous system activation (e.g., tics, irritable bowel syndrome, and colitis).

 

Some researchers have drawn connections between stress and immune system impairment, suggesting direct correlations between vulnerability of some individuals to certain medical conditions and deficient stress-coping skills. When we view all these behavioral, emotional, and physiological reactions to stress, the toll of human suffering paid for not managing stress is enormous.

 

Approach

 

Stress management is truly a multi-disciplinary process, which begins with the mind’s ability to cope with environmental stress (e.g., work, home, health, social, financial issues) with healthy coping skills and adaptive interpretations. By utilizing the psychoneuroimmunological (i.e., mind/body/endocrine) model, the interaction of all these systems can be addressed in reducing the impact of stress on behaviors, emotions, and physiology. A multi-disciplinary approach, which uses psychological interventions, such as hypnosis, relaxation training, cognitive behavioral therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and solution-oriented approaches in conjunction with nutrition, exercise, and, if needed, psychopharmacological interventions, can return well-being, balance, and emotional comfort to individuals' everyday lives. Improved functioning in the overall activities of daily life and relationships often occurs when individuals learn to effectively manage stress and its consequences.