In the latest article in an ongoing series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about stress and its effects on health and well-being, resources for individuals seeking help are examined. Squirrel Hill Psychological Services (SHPS) and our own Dr. Jordan Golin are featured in the article, and we hope you’ll take a moment to read it here.
Because stress isn’t recognized as a formal illness, individuals dealing with stress may find that addressing these issues and finding help in a medical setting can be a complicated process. Stress management initiatives are a work-in-progress within the health-care system, but SHPS is among community resources that can help individuals manage stress and address behavioral health issues to ensure mental, emotional and physical well-being.
“You can be unsure of where to turn when you are dealing with stress and have reached a point where you need help. SHPS’s licensed therapists provide coping tools to ensure that you are able to manage stress better and to decrease its impact on your life and overall health,” Dr. Golin said.
Wendy Levin-Shaw is one of the licensed clinical therapists at SHPS who works with individuals needing assistance or counseling related to their stress. She suggests individuals try the following techniques to help manage and cope with stress.
1. Take a break – When you find yourself in a stressful situation or feeling more anxious or stressed than usual, try to step away from the stressor to regain a sense of calm. Take a moment to breathe slow, deep breaths, or take a brief walk to disengage from the situation and change your focus. Then you can re-approach the issue with less stress and a fresh mind.
2. Make sure you are taking care of yourself – During times of increased stress, a full night’s sleep, exercise and healthy food can work to decrease anxiety and improve mood. Incorporate healthy habits and activities into your daily routines in order to help you maintain and enhance your sense of well-being.
3. Communicate with others – Build a support system around you. Choose a few people you trust – family members, friends or coworkers – and tell them that you’re feeling stressed and would like to talk.
Stress management assistance is one of the many areas in which SHPS provides comprehensive psychological services for individuals, couples and families in the community. Most people are able to manage minimal and occasional stress on their own. However, a therapist may be able to help you develop the tools to cope, if needed.
If you are feeling persistently overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, experiencing chronic stress or have a need for counseling or advice, call Squirrel Hill Psychological Services at 412-521-3800 or visit www.squirrelhillpsych.org.