Targeting Stress Due To Change

Stressed Out Woman At Table

Change is a constant in life. Whether it’s a new job, the birth of child, a divorce, a death, or even something as simple as putting a new roof on the house, change is a sure bet in life and with change comes stress.

Stress is the tension put on a system when it is stretched or challenged to take a new direction. Change is the challenge to take a new direction. Not only is change a physical reality, it is a biochemical reality as well. The brain must form new neuropathways in response to change in order to make meaning of the new situation and allow you to return to a homeostatic or balanced state. The body naturally seeks balance in the face of change.

For example, when someone close to you dies, the physical world and your inner emotional world likely face a vast change. That person is no longer there physically. The things they wore, the chair they once sat in, the books they once read all become meaningless without the person there to animate them. Your mind must get used to them not being there any longer. That is a stress to your brain–the system that governs everything from your physical movements to your thoughts and the plans you make. You may find yourself picking up the phone to call that person only to remember that they are no longer there to pick up the other end. You may find yourself trying to remember the sound of their voice or the way their perfume smelled or the tenor of their laugh. These are all biochemical processes in the brain and they produce stress on the system (you) as you seek to make sense of the new reality of the world without that person.

You cannot stop change from occurring but you can be aware that during times of great change, you will likely need to make adjustments to your daily life. If the situation is particularly stressful, seek outside counsel and guidance to help you make sense of your new reality.

Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers has many therapists who specialize in stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and grief and loss among many other issues. We can help ease the stress that accompanies change.

If you or someone you know is going through significant changes in their life and would benefit from meeting with a qualified, caring, counselor–contact Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers at 248-244-8644.

By Christopher LePage, PsyD, DLLP, LMSW