Seeking Boca Raton Counseling for Stress
Looking for Boca Raton Counseling as a result of stress can be difficult. Stress is a normal part of life and is can be felt at different times throughout the course of the day. Yet when faced with intense circumstances or painful events, our ability to cope with that stress can be overwhelmed and lead to an experience of shock. This can be brought on by any number of difficult and painful experiences such as illness, loss of a job, or the death of a loved one. The current health crisis we face that brought about rapid changes and limitations to day to day life have added new stressors. This additional and unexpected stress may have increased fear and uncertainty to such a point that we can experience symptoms of shock and develop an acute stress disorder. Older traumas and negative experiences may also come up during this time and hinder our ability to manage our emotions and function well. Boca Raton counseling for stress can help with identification of symptoms of shock.
The symptoms of acute stress and shock let us know that our nervous system is out of balance. Our system likes equilibrium and our nervous system is designed for self-regulation. Once we are out of balance, we may get “stuck” in one physiological response of the nervous system or bounce back and forth between highs and lows.
What are the symptoms of shock?
As mentioned above, our nervous system is designed for balance. The sympathetic nervous system is the body’s rapid and involuntary response to any threat or stress and signals all the physiological signs such as increased heart rate and tension in the body. It is also essential for the fight or flight response when facing danger. Our system does not necessarily differentiate between a present and physical danger from perceived dangers in our thoughts. We may find ourselves experiencing intense and persistent anxiety or panic, feeling frantic without being fully present, poor concentration, sleep disturbance, and irritability/anger.
The parasympathetic nervous system works hard to slow down these sympathetic responses and bring us back to a calm state. Here, our heartbeat decreases, muscles relax, and chemical changes calm the fight/flight response. If we are prone to parasympathetic shock, our system may overcompensate and we may feel depressed, exhausted, empty, lethargic and even avoidant. We may find ourselves feeling depleted of the energy we need to do anything or simply “check out”.
What can I do to treat my shock?
We may attempt to treat our shock with any number of unhealthy coping tools. We may use substances from alcohol to sweets, sodas to pot, carbs to tobacco. This ping pong attempt to balance our system is exhausting.
Healthy coping tools help us to learn to self-regulate and manage our emotions in a sustaining and healing way. Following are some tools that you can implement now that may help:
- meditation and mindfulness practices that include deep breathing
- coming back to the body and be fully in the moment
- exercise, walking, yoga and spending time in nature
- using your senses such as aromatherapy and music to self-soothe
- using heat or ice packs on your neck, belly, or forehead
- drink water slowly
- ground, literally notice your feet connecting to the ground
- reach out for professional assistance to help you better understand and manage the triggers and strengthen internal resources
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you may want or need the support of a therapist to help you manage your stress, increase coping tools, and explore and heal underlying issues that may be present. If you are seeking Boca Raton counseling for stress or anxiety, our therapist is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and has helped countless South Florida residents deal with stress and anxiety. To book an appointment, call us at (561) 717-2900, or book online here.