Help with Managing Stress
Believe it or not, some stress is actually a good thing!
When you sense danger, your body’s defenses kick in and set in motion what’s commonly called the stress response. It’s the body’s natural way of protecting you by increasing your focus, energy and ability to act quickly and decisively (do we want to include attention – prime keyword). It’s the same mechanism that sharpens your concentration when you step up to take that game-winning free throw, and that makes your heart race when your team is about to win the Super Bowl (do we an analogy in addition to sports – e.g. public speaking, project deadline, etc).
But if you are reading this, chances are that stress in your life has gone way beyond this point and has become a damaging force, causing major disruption to your mood, your sleep pattern, your appetite and your health in general. You may even have progressed to the point of what’s known as burnout. More on that in a moment.
When a client comes to APEX Brain Centers with an issue related to stress, we take it very seriously. Our first step is usually to do a comprehensive evaluation which involves getting to know more about the factors that are causing the stress. We have a series of clinically-proven evaluation tools to help us determine and measure both the physical and psychological factors, and the effect they are having on the body. Everyone is different and is capable of reacting to stressful situations in different ways, so these evaluation tools help our clinical team to understand the factors involved for each specific client. We then develop a highly customized individual treatment plan based on our Brain Training techniques. Part of the reason our approach is so successful is because we make objective measurements of some of the physical manifestations of stress, such as a clients’ response to certain stimuli and the electrical impulse patterns in the brain (nothing intrusive or that involves any type of surgery or medication). By measuring and recording these things before we begin, we then have a base-line against which we can later measure improvements. Certainly, the ultimate test of whether our treatment plan is working is how much better each client feels and how much their coping skills improve with treatment, but we can often measure positive changes long before these practical results occur.
For some people, the most potentially damaging result of stress is a reduction in their ability to be productive at work. That’s why certain jobs are known as high stress occupations, such as those in the information technology, financial services and entertainment industries. In fact, just about any job which is regularly driven by deadlines and performance goals can be a huge source of stress. The stress then leads to a lack of focus and a general reduction in productivity, which causes even more stress. It’s a downward spiral!
The early signs of stress involve a lot of activity. We often move from task to task quickly, our energy level is high, but so is our anxiety. We find it hard to concentrate, our sleep patterns and appetite become irregular. If stress is not treated at this point, it can quickly develop into a condition commonly known as burnout whose physical signs are almost the opposite of the early signs of stress. Burnout is characterized by lethargy, fatigue, and even depression. We convince ourselves that nothing we do is good enough to meet expectations, so why bother doing anything at all?
If you are an employer, you may notice this effect in people on your team who were once high-performers but whose productivity has slipped dramatically. High absenteeism for seemingly minor reasons, and a lack of engagement are also warning signs of burnout.
Of course, stress of any kind can have a very damaging effect on not only the health of the individual, but also those around them. Relationships often suffer as a result of one or more partners suffering from stress, which of course just adds to the downward spiral effect. That’s why it is so important to look for and understand the signs of stress not only in yourself and your own life, but also in those for whom you care.
Please call us today for a free consultation and let our highly specialized clinical staff help you. We cannot control the stress in your life, but we can help you to identify, address and manage the factors that are causing your body’s unhealthy response and put you on the path to long-term brain health.