Stress is an automatic and biological response to change. With change happening all the time around us, no wonder we are stressed out, and even overloaded at times.
When it comes to treating anxiety, there are only two plans of approach: lower/remove the actual stressor (not always a possibility), or increase our ability to work through stressful situations.
The fallacy of “stress management” (the expectation that we can change an automatic and biological response) is often setting the bar of expectation too high, and often equates to standing in the path of an avalanche and expecting to stop it in its tracks. Rather, we must learn to accept that some levels of stress are natural and change how we choose to respond to stress as it arises - we must change how we cope.
My clinical work around anxiety is largely focused on regaining control of our emotions, and no longer feeling victimized by our automatic thoughts and behaviors. We do this by teaching and practicing a multitude of tools to increase our resilience to stress when it happens - because it will happen. Life is full of stress. Some changes are good, others not so much, but all change produces some level of stress.By utilizing coping skills to help reduce stress responses, and increase our ability to deal with stressful situations, we are more able to choose logical responses to stress rather than automatic, knee-jerk emotional reactions.
Put simply, we only have two options to help navigate these unavoidable moments in life, we can either decrease the stressors themselves (which is sometimes outside the realm of our ability), or we can increase our coping skills to deal withlife. Some of the clinical issues addressed can include general anxiety, specific fears/phobias, social anxiety, performance anxiety (public speaking, test taking, sexual performance, etc.), hair pulling (Trichotillomania), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.