Stress | Symptoms & Treatment Options | Zencare — Zencare


Stress comes in all shapes and sizes and can stem from just about any aspect of life, from major transitions to the countless little tasks that make up daily life.

Definitions of stress vary, but most include the idea of mental, physical, or emotional tension. When you’re stressed, you might feel overwhelmed, have trouble relaxing or sleeping, or experience other symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Different things feel stressful to different people, but all of us have experienced life stress one way or another. In fact, stress can even be helpful; it might motivate you to achieve your goals or give you energy to complete a task.

But when stress becomes too frequent or intense, it can have negative consequences for your physical and mental health.

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Prevalence of stress

Stress is extremely common in the United States.

A 2017 report  on stress levels in America indicates that:

Causes of stress

Stress stems from different factors. Another 2017 study found [2]:

Symptoms of stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently, but the following are a few of the most common symptoms:

Different types of stress

Stress comes in countless forms. Some common forms of stress include:

Related: Eustress vs. Distress

What to do if you’re stressed out

If you’re looking for tools to manage the stress in your life, consider the following options:

Related: Calm Yourself Down: 5 Ways To Find Peace In Extreme Overwhelm

How to look for a therapist for stress management

Find an approach to stress management that resonates with you

Almost all therapists have training in helping clients address stress and related problems — the key is finding out what therapy approaches and techniques to addressing stress resonate most with you.

Some common therapy types for stress management include:

Ask what approach your potential therapist takes to stress management therapy, and what approaches have proven effective for them.

Understand what clientele the therapist works most commonly with

In addition, knowing what clientele a therapist works with can inform your decision of whether you want to work with them as well.

Does your therapist see many high-achievers? Or do they mostly see college students? Do they have an understanding of your creative arts profession? Do they take a culturally competent approach to treatment? Have they supported clients dealing with stress from your particular situation (e.g. stress from divorce, loss of a parent, or moving to a new city)?

Seeing a therapist who has an appreciation of your background and circumstances can be helpful in sessions as you explain the stressors you’re experiencing.

Know what questions to ask potential therapists

These questions may prove helpful when interviewing potential therapists:

Prioritize personal fit with the therapist

While personal fit is a nuanced factor, it is critical to your success in therapy. Multiple studies have revealed the importance of this factor, often referred to as therapeutic alliance.

On your initial phone call with the therapist, ask yourself:

Additionally, consider these factors:

Consider cost, location, and scheduling

The last thing you want is additional stress from navigating inconvenient logistics! Before making an appointment, consider the following:

New to therapy? Learn more about how to find a therapist.