Published on November 19, 2020
The following information is provided by Forrest Rackham, PsyD, a clinical psychologist with the Phelps Health Medical Group:
1. Is all stress bad? If not, why?
Not all stress is bad. Stress can fall into two categories.
- Distress is often seen as negative, and people tend to avoid this type.
- Eustress is seen as positive, can be energizing and help people better perform tasks.
Your ability to cope and your perception play a role in which type of stress you experience.
2. What are some common causes of stress?
- Personal trials or difficulties
- Unpredictable, large-scale events (pandemics, catastrophes, natural disasters, exposure to violence)
- Significant life changes (marriage, moving, changing or losing a job)
- Daily hassles (overscheduling, clutter, too many emails, stubbing your toe, no coffee)
3. If you are stressed, what are some symptoms you may notice?
Physical symptoms may include the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle tension
Emotional symptoms may include the following:
4. What are some ways to manage/reduce stress?
- Seek help or help other people
- Meditate or practice breath meditation
- Play with a pet
- Try yoga
- Listen to music
- Read a book
- Go to a spa
5. When should you seek help?
- When your thoughts start leading toward suicidal or self-harm feelings
- If you are experiencing uncontrollable anxiety or depression
- When you no longer “feel like yourself”
- When all other things do not seem to be working
Here for You When You Need Us Most
To talk with a Phelps Health primary care provider about stress, or to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider, visit mychart.phelpshealth.org or call (573) 364-9000.