Stress Relief

At Life Quality Resources, we can help you recognize the fine balance of expectations and abilities, and how this balance can help you more effectively manage the everyday stress in your life.

 

Treatment

At Life Quality Resources, our philosophy centers on making healthy choices, both psychological and physical. Our staff of clinicians will create a treatment plan that is individualized to your needs, and that produces the results that will help you increase your health and happiness.

The typical treatment at Life Quality Resources to relieve stress includes:

  • Managing Stress Triggers
  • Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation
  • Biofeedback/Neurofeedback
  • Psychotherapy
  • Coping Strategies
  • Meditation Techniques
  • Neuromodulation Techniques
  • Functional Health Plan
  • Nutrition
  • Neurotransmitter and Hormone Testing

 

About Stress

Stress is an inescapable fact of life – forces from our inside or outside world that affect our daily life. Expressed simply, stress is the gap that develops between expectation (our own and those we feel from others) and the reality of our ability to meet those expectations. For example, a manager expecting you to complete a task that takes 15 hours within an eight-hour day. Usually changing expectations is a more fruitful approach than attempting to change reality.

Our response to that stress is where each individual differs, and can be at the root of a variety of physical and psychological issues.

The areas of the body most affected by stress are:

  • Brain and Neurotransmitters
  • Heart
  • Muscles and Joints
  • Stomach
  • Pancreas
  • Intestines
  • Reproductive System

Through the extensive research of Claude Bernard, Walter Cannon, and Hans Selye, we have a considerable amount of knowledge and information about the physiological process of how stress affects the body. They introduced the need for constancy in our internal environment in the presence of external stressors in order to meet our basic survival instinct, as well as the “fight or flight” concept and the physiological processes associated with stress like cortisol release. We owe our understanding of stress to these pioneering neurologists and scientists, and at Life Quality Resources we draw on this knowledge to enable us to help you alleviate the stress in your life.

 

Symptoms of Stress

An overabundance of stress can manifest in many different ways, and varies from person to person. There are both physical and emotional/behavioral symptoms, but the severity in the expression of these symptoms is highly individualized.

Some common physical symptoms of excess stress are:

  • Poor Sleep Quality
  • Headache
  • Nausea/Dizziness
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • Muscle Tension
  • Muscle Aches
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Fatigue

Some common emotional/behavioral symptoms of excess stress are:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Overeating/Undereating
  • Loss of enthusiasm or energy
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Inability to Relax
  • Depression

Many of these symptoms are present in other psychological and medical conditions, and stress itself can be a symptom of other conditions as well. Other unhealthy behaviors are also associated with elevated stress levels like abuse of alcohol and drugs, cigarette
smoking, and poor choices concerning nutrition and exercise. These behaviors can lead to increased stress levels, thereby creating a cycle of symptoms and behaviors that can be ravaging to the brain and body.

Although stress levels and causes are highly individualized, there are some generalizations concerning stress that hold true the majority of the time. People with poor nutrition, inadequate or frequently-disturbed sleep, and physical illness report higher levels of stress and a reduced capacity for handling the pressures of everyday life. Conversely, people with stable support networks report much less stress and overall better mental health than those with inadequate social supports. Also, teens and the elderly often report stress related to life transitions more so than the rest of the population.

 

Response to Stress

The key to a healthy response to stress is maintaining homeostasis (internal balance) in the brain and body to produce and utilize optimal energy. This is done through a series of internal processes that start in the brain. The cycle works as follows:
The brain receives and mediates the immediate response to the stressor. This response triggers the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla.

The hypothalamus (seat of emotion or “the brain’s brain”) and the pituitary gland initiate the release of cortisol and other hormones from the adrenal cortex to activate a slower maintenance response to the stressor.
Vast arrays of neural circuits are responsible for the behavior response that is assigned to the stressor. These behavioral responses manifest themselves through physical actions such as heightened awareness, focused attention, pain perception reduction, and the inhibition of reproduction and food consumption.

The sympathetic nervous system then reacts by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, and releasing glucose and fatty acids to fuel the fight or flight response.

Recent research has shown that abnormal levels of stress and unhealthy responses to stress can lead to a variety of psychological and physical diseases or conditions. Anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse are all some common psychological disorders that stress contributes to, and physical conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, skin rashes, cancer, migraines, and even the process of aging are all associated with elevated stress levels. Learning how to manage stress in your life is the key to enhancing your enjoyment of life and reducing your risk of psychological and physical suffering.

 

“I decided to try biofeedback training after years of struggling with intense emotional reactions to life’s everyday stressors. A cynic by nature, I was skeptical that such a seemingly simple program could have a significant impact on my day-to-day life. However, after training for about a month I noticed a tremendous shift in my ability to remain calm and emotionally detach myself from situations that were beyond my control. This has made a tremendous impact on my stress level as well as my overall outlook on life. I would not only recommend biofeedback to individuals struggling with anxiety or depression, but to anyone seeking a more conscious, peaceful mindset to help tackle the day-to-day struggles we all encounter”.

K.J., Raleigh NC